Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

A Beacon of Hope for Patients in Lebanon

A Beacon of Hope for Patients in Lebanon

A Beacon of Hope for the Patients in Lebanon

This does not start with a funny caption or a happy anecdote, but I assure you it’s an important topic and it touches the lives of everyone. This is Tarek Moukalled, and I hope that by the end of this session you can see the light at the end of the tunnel for patients in Lebanon.

Our story begins with rather an unfortunate observation. Patients in Lebanon are dying. As a matter of fact, the death rate has increased from 4.34 deaths in 2016 to 6.25 deaths in 2020 per 1,000 persons. That is drastic and an alarming increase of approximately 44 % during a span of 5 years. But why?

A close inspection of the healthcare expenditure per capita during the suggested years shows a considerable increase from 648 USD to 995 USD. Furthermore, the % expenditure of GDP on healthcare in Lebanon also shows a consistent trend of a little less than 8 % across the same years. So, things should be fine, if not better! Yet unfortunately, this is not the case.

It appears the Lebanese people have been taking things into their hands. With the economic recession and the subsequent governmental bankruptcy, GDP decreased from ~ 51.1 billion USD in 2016 to 31.7 billion USD in 2020. This led to the fact that the Lebanese people have been paying more and more from their own pockets for healthcare reaching a whopping 44.2 % of healthcare expenditure in 2020.

Comparing the above results with the healthcare sector of a different country that shares similar demographics and healthcare expenditure with Lebanon would help with the context and the subsequent validation of the proposed solution, the light at the end of the tunnel. Remember?

With a similar % expenditure of GDP on healthcare (~ 7.5 %) and a little lower starting point in death rate of 3.16 per 1,000 persons, Jordan’s death rate in 2020 reaches 3.47 per 1,000 persons. The healthcare expenditure per capita in Jordan is consistently way lower than that of Lebanon. The % of out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare is also steady and lower than that of Lebanon. As to the GDP, it starts lower than Lebanon in 2016 at ~ 39.9 billion USD and ends higher than Lebanon at 43.6 billion USD. As such, the main considerable deviation between both countries is the GDP amount. For that matter, it’s important to note that economies and healthcare sectors grow through expenditure rather than stagnation or restriction.

The increase in the share of health expenditure as part of GDP will have positive results on both short-term and long-term.

  • Enhanced Healthcare Quality
  • Faster Healthcare Response
  • Improved Patient Health Outcome
  • Decreased Death Rate
  • Target for Healthcare Tourism

With that, it is imperative to urge whoever who is responsible to proceed with the increase in healthcare expenditure for the sake of our patients and our future.

Thank You