By Adam Ali and Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 23 March 2015:
National and local government officials met in Benghazi yesterday to discuss the health crisis . . .[restrict]taking place there and evaluate steps for moving forward.
Minister of Health Reda Al-Menshawi and Deputy Minister Musbah Awami met with the Chairman of Benghazi’s Crisis Committee, Zakaria Bel Tamer, as well as officials from Benghazi Medical Centre (BMC) and Jalaa Hospital and other medical professionals and city officials.
In the meeting, Menshawi stressed the need for direct cooperation and coordination between the Ministry of Health and the Crisis Committee to solve problems before they escalate.
Bel Tamer outlined the pressing needs in the medical sector in Benghazi and urged the government to act quickly. He specifically requested that the Ministry of Health use emergency budget funds to help pay salaries and purchase pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies for the city.
The city’s medical sector has yet to receive any financial support from the government, said Bel Tamer. At the same time, some other towns, he pointed out, had received 100 million Libyan dinars from the government.
Bel Tamer disclosed to the Libya Herald that the Ministry of Health agreed to allocate immediate funds to help with the crisis and to help provide a six-month supply of medical supplies and equipment to the hospitals, including drugs for cancer treatment, anesthetics, other essential medications, and equipment for dialysis.
Among the issues covered during the meeting, the participants discussed maintenance or restoration of buildings and hospitals that have been damaged as a result of the clashes.
Additionally, Menshawi informed the group that the Health Ministry has been working with a doctor from New Zealand who specializes in psychological disorders to address the mental health needs in Benghazi. Currently 200 psychiatric patients are being housed in a school because the hospital closed in the conflict. The ministry is making arrangements to move them to a better location and provide treatment for them. [/restrict]