Protracted conflict in Lebanon has been a threat to the public healthcare system and the public Primary Healthcare Network (PHCN) in the country now aggravated by the COVID 19 Pandemic. This article looks at the challenges including the COVID 19, the civil war and the Syrian refugee crisis have left on Lebanon’s healthcare, and its financing. The authors argue that these shocks have resulted in the PHCN developing resilience mechanisms to ensure a space for healthcare provisions that stand public in Lebanon today.
The article reflects upon how Lebanon’s history of conflict and more recent shocks like the economic breakdown and the blast of ammonium nitrate in Beirut port have affected the PHCN’s ability to respond to the COVID 19 pandemic in a relevant way. This has been facilitated largely due to the Ministry of Public health’s Primary Healthcare department supported by a range of local and international actors that created a space for financial and administrative collaboration.
The authors conclude that in a fragile and conflict-affected state like Lebanon, public access to primary healthcare might persist for the people as one safeguard, in which social and moral continuity can be anchored to protect a sense of public good.