“Libyan Hospitals Face Collapse if Asian Staff Flee”
The Daily Star [Lebanon], August 2, 2014
“Libya has warned of a ‘total collapse’ of its health care system as the chaos plaguing the country threatens to send into flight many of the Filipino and Indian staff on whom its hospitals depend. Fighting between rival militias in Tripoli and Benghazi over the past three weeks and have prompted several countries to evacuate their nationals and diplomatic staff. Now, 3,000 health workers from the Philippines, making up 60 percent of Libya’s hospital staff, could leave – along with workers from India, who account for another 20 percent. Libyan hospitals, meanwhile, are flooded with a wave of admissions, victims of the fighting which has shaken the capital and Benghazi. Manila already urged its citizens in Libya to leave on July 20 after a kidnapped Filipino worker was found beheaded. Of the estimated 13,000 Filipinos in Libya, only around 700 heeded the warning and left. The rest refused to abandon their jobs despite the dangers. But Manila said Thursday it would charter ferries to evacuate its nationals, a day after a Filipina nurse was kidnapped and gang raped in Tripoli. Hundreds of Filipino doctors and nurses in Tripoli’s Medical Center walked out in protest at the savage attack on their colleague, unleashing anarchy in the hospital. … Complicating the situation further are the difficulties faced by Libyan staff as they struggle to keep work hours. [Health Minister spokesman Ammar] Mohammad said Libyan doctors and carers have been struggling to reach their workplace from home because of fighting around the capital and fuel shortages.”
Quickie Analysis: Even if the fighting stops today, damage to Libya’s health care system will take a long time to repair due to the only qualified workers fleeing the country–yet another way in which Libya’s militias are wrecking the country.