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?No dollars for medical supplies: Jabak.

Summary: A number of banks are refusing to provide medical suppliers with the U.S. dollars they need to import from abroad, caretaker Health Minister Jamil Jabak said Wednesday.

BEIRUT: A number of banks are refusing to provide medical suppliers with the U.S. dollars they need to import from abroad, caretaker Health Minister Jamil Jabak said Wednesday.

"Following the agreement with the Central Bank, it appeared that several banks refused to open lines of credit," Jabak said in a televised news conference.

BDL agreed to supply medical equipment importers with 50 percent of the U.S. dollars they need at the official Lebanese pound exchange rate, leaving importers to foot the bill for the rest.

Jabak called on BDL Gov. Riad Salameh to act to solve the issue to restore "the continuation of [medical] services to patients."

Medical suppliers, doctors and hospitals have long warned that the health sector is under increasing threat.

Amid an ongoing dollar shortage in the country, concerns have risen over the availability of medical supplies, along with fuel, wheat and other imports, as importers have been forced to resort to paying high unofficial exchange rates.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Dec 19, 2019
Words:207
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