Prime Minister Dr. Hassan Diab on Friday visited the Rafik Hariri University Hospital, where he thanked the Hospital’s medical, nursing, and administrative staff for the relentless efforts and sacrifices they are offering to treat patients.
In his delivered word, Premier Diab said: “I wanted to visit the Rafik Hariri University Hospital to look into the center’s situation in light of the pressure it is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I would first like to commend the terrific efforts of the hospital, and to thank the medical, nursing, and administrative staff, as well as the hospital director, Dr. Firas al Abyad, for the relentless efforts and sacrifices they are offering to treat patients.
And I have good news to relay: I have signed and submitted the letter received by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, from His Excellency the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Hamad Hassan, regarding the remaining balance of the salary and grades scale, amounting to a billion and fifty million Lebanese Pounds, in addition to the 950 million pounds that have been previously settled. Every employee of the hospital will be receiving their new salary by the end of this month. As such, the employees would have obtained their rights due by the Government.
As for professional grades and compensations thereof, which is considered a strictly administrative matter, I will ensure that hospital staff will be receiving just treatment in accessing their financial rights.
I would like to thank H.E the Minister of Public Health for the considerable efforts he is employing to equip hospitals in Lebanon, and ensuring constant monitoring of this epidemic’s spread in the country.
I am aware of the extent of the worry experienced by the Lebanese people. Truly, I deeply recognize and understand their concerns. Citizens are troubled by both the present and the future. They are concerned for their parents, children, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren.
Today, we are all faced with great challenges. And these challenges and risks do not merely target a single group, a single region, a single community, nor a single political group. This risk is facing all citizens of Lebanon.
Consequently, we, the Lebanese, must remain united and in solidarity, regardless of our sectarian, political, or regional affiliations, regardless of any other consideration, as we are all confronted with the same danger. Coronavirus, much like the livelihood crisis, makes no distinctions among citizens.
This is not the time to outbid nor to settle political scores.
The Ministry of Public Health, the medical and nursing personnel, hospital services, and the Red Cross are all at the service of every citizen with no exception. Therefore, the Lebanese people must, in their turn, overcome this challenging situation through unity and cooperation, through these qualities they have always proven to possess in moments of crises and when danger threatens their nation.
Today, we rely on this spirit of unity. Believe me, if we remain united, if we work hand in hand, victory can only follow.
I would like to grasp this opportunity to call on all Lebanese people to uphold this spirit of unity, to commit to the State and preserve it, as the State is the sole patron of unity. If the State collapses, God forbid, so will our stronghold.
The State is a refuge to every one of us, and our trust in the State is a starting point to restoring our resilience in the face of health, financial, and political scourges affecting our country.
Based on the aforementioned, I call upon the Lebanese to commit to the measures adopted by the Government in view of protecting citizens against the spread of Coronavirus. The Government is employing great efforts to fulfil its responsibilities before the people, and will do everything in its power to comfort citizens and challenge the social consequences of this crisis.
I am aware that expatriates wish to return to their country, as they have found that the measures taken by the Government are better than those adopted by the numerous countries in which they reside. We are glad that the Lebanese are expressing more trust in their home country. I know that families of expatriates are concerned. You are well aware that we have granted a four-day period to citizens wishing to return before having closed the airport. In fact, we are unable to make any exceptions before the conclusion of general mobilization period, for two reasons:
1-To protect those who wish to return. If one passenger on the plane returning to Lebanon is infected with Coronavirus, they could transmit it to numerous, if not all, passengers.
2-To curb the spread of the epidemic in the country, as a great number of infections was due to travelers who have transmitted it into the country.
The best that expatriates could do at the present time is to remain in place, in isolation, and under protection. This is for their own good.
In either case, we are looking into repatriation possibilities, and we will have a clearer idea before April 12.
God willing, we will overcome these difficult times with the least possible damage, in order to continue treating other chronic diseases suffered by Lebanon and the Lebanese.
I would like to assure our citizens that the Government is following all international developments to overcome this epidemic, and we will always be prepared to respond to any new development.
Given that this matter is the Government’s priority at this time, we have allocated approximately 60 million dollars to confront Coronavirus, to ensure the necessary equipment, material, medication, and apparatus relative to coronavirus, and to provide the necessary care to affected people in compliance with the established norms.
These are difficult times. We all wish to cooperate and rally around the State to regain the trust of the people in their country.
In fact, in lacking trust, we destroy the upholder of our immunity as a nation and as citizens.
Allow me once more to thank the Minister of Public Health, and the administrative, medical, and nursing staff at the Rafic Hariri University Hospital in Beirut.
May God bless your efforts.” –Grand Serail Press Office