One million Lebanese are currently integrated in the state and private school system. Lebanon spends around 9.3% of its gross domestic product on this, with the private sector heavily involved. But despite the relatively high level of investment in education, Lebanon does not succeed in equipping those educated for a lot of money with jobs that match their qualifications.
In a field of tension between private, mostly denominationally organized private education and state centrally organized public education, the state education system suffers from colossal structural and qualitative problems. About two-thirds of Lebanese children currently attend expensive private schools, while public schools are the last resort for low-income families. This increases the education and thus the income gap between the economically disadvantaged young people and their peers. This tension is heightened by the fact that Lebanon has no compulsory education. The literacy rate is 89.6 percent (male: 93.1, female: 87.2). There are 47 universities and colleges in Lebanon with about 120,000 people studying. More than half of them are enrolled in the 13 faculties of the state Université Libanaise. The remaining students are enrolled in private universities. Important private universities in Lebanon are:
- American University of Beirut
- Lebanese American University
- Saint Joseph University
- Université Saint Esprit de Kaslik
- Beirut Arab University
- Université Balamand.
The fundamental problems of the education system in Lebanon are based on the fact that the Lebanese state has not been able to control and supervise its own education system since the end of the civil war. It is not possible to monitor the content of private schools. The denominational political parties try to prevent this. They recognized a reservoir of potential supporters in education. There is no interdenominational textbook “History” in Lebanon. The refugee crisis in the context of the civil war in Syria is increasing the pressure on the Lebanese education sector.
The Lebanese education system today presents itself as a social area that is characterized by numerous contradictions and structural breaks. The structures of the public and private denominational education sector are supported by an extremely unstable concordance-democratic political system in which denominational power-sharing has become more and more firmly anchored over the decades. In his dissertation, Hassan Mazeh shows how much the Lebanese educational system and the political system interact and what social effects arise from this.
The medical care in Lebanon can be considered satisfactory, largely thanks to the fact that virtually all drugs are available. Lebanon has 24 public and 138 privately owned hospitals. In addition, NGOs and political parties operate around 760 local clinics. According to the Ministry of Health, there are 11,186 doctors, 4,200 dentists and 4,667 pharmacists in Lebanon. In addition, around 200 psychologists, 48 psychiatrists and 39 psychoanalysts practice nationwide. The health services in Lebanon are generally on an average to good level. Lebanon has the best hospitals and doctors in the region. Nevertheless, care in rural areas is moderate. In addition, the qualitative differences between the public and private sectors are very large.
The Conseil supérieur de la santé (CSS) reports to the Ministry of Health and is responsible for health policy in Lebanon. Its aim is to restore the positive image of the health sector abroad that existed before the war. Lebanon has the highest number of doctors per capita in the Middle East and offers specialist treatment options in every direction.
The high number of doctors (1/270 residents) and the modern, highly developed technology of the country ensure fast and comprehensive, but very expensive medical care. Only a small proportion of the Lebanese are members of the National Social Insurance Fund (Caisse nationale de la sécurité sociale, CNSS). The Ministry of Health spends 80% of its budget on paying private hospitals to cover the cost of medical care for patients who are not socially or privately insured and cannot pay their hospital bills. This means that the proportion of the population with access to health services is very high. Maternal and infant mortality rates are lower in Lebanon than most countries in the region.
Since the national health program only covers people who have been Lebanese citizens for more than 10 years and are not covered by the National Security Plan or other state insurance, large parts of the people living in Lebanon are excluded from the care system. The group of Palestinian refugees is particularly affected. The UNRWA is for the medical care of Palestinian refugees on. Stateless people and other refugees are left behind. These are dependent on social charitable organizations. International support for the Syrian refugees was promised in 2015. Corresponding structures are currently being set up.
According to historyaah, the Lebanese Red Cross is the largest private organization among the numerous charitable and denominational associations. Important data about the Lebanese health system provide:
- National Health Statistics Report in Lebanon
- WHO Country Cooperation Strategy at a glance