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Expat Exchange - Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System in Lebanon
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Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System in Lebanon

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: A primer on how to enroll in the public healthcare system in Lebanon.

If you're planning to enroll in the public healthcare system in Lebanon, this article covers the requirements for foreigners to be able enroll in the public healthcare system, the steps involved and more.

Lebanon, a country known for its rich history and diverse culture, also offers a unique healthcare system. The public healthcare system in Lebanon is managed by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). It is not mandatory for all residents, but it is widely used by the population, especially by those who cannot afford private healthcare. The quality of public healthcare in Lebanon varies. While some hospitals and clinics offer high-quality services, others may lack resources and facilities. The cost of public healthcare is generally lower than private healthcare, but it can still be a significant expense for many residents.

Eligibility for Foreigners

Foreigners are allowed to enroll in the public healthcare system in Lebanon. However, they must meet certain requirements. First, they must have a valid residency permit. Second, they must have a job or a source of income. Third, they must not have any serious pre-existing medical conditions. If a foreigner meets these requirements, they can apply for public healthcare.

Steps for Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System

  1. Obtain a residency permit: This is the first step for any foreigner who wants to live and work in Lebanon. The residency permit is issued by the General Security Directorate. It requires a valid passport, a job contract or proof of income, and a health check-up.
  2. Apply for public healthcare: Once you have a residency permit, you can apply for public healthcare. You will need to fill out an application form and provide documents such as your residency permit, job contract or proof of income, and health check-up results.
  3. Pay the healthcare fee: The public healthcare fee is based on your income. You will need to pay this fee every year to maintain your healthcare coverage.
  4. Receive your healthcare card: After your application is approved and you have paid the healthcare fee, you will receive a healthcare card. This card will allow you to access public healthcare services in Lebanon.

It's important to note that the public healthcare system in Lebanon may not cover all medical services. Some services, such as certain surgeries and treatments, may require additional fees. Therefore, many foreigners choose to have private health insurance as a backup. Private health insurance can provide more comprehensive coverage and access to private hospitals and clinics, which often offer higher-quality services than public healthcare facilities.

Overall, while the public healthcare system in Lebanon has its challenges, it is a valuable resource for many residents, including foreigners. By understanding the enrollment process and the system's limitations, foreigners can make informed decisions about their healthcare in Lebanon.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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