Beyond the Headlines: can Lebanon survive the coronavirus pandemic?

The country's hospitals are on the brink of collapse

In December 2019, two months after the start of popular protests across Lebanon, NGOs issued a warning about an impending health crisis in the country.

The government was failing to fund public and private hospitals. They, in turn, were struggling to pay staff and buy medical equipment.

This was weeks before anyone in Lebanon had heard of Covid-19. Since then the situation has been getting worse.

The impact of the pandemic has steadily been building. The economy shrank more than 19 per cent in 2020 and inflation continued to rise.

When the August 4 explosion tore through Beirut, five nurses died, hospitals were damaged and the pressure on the healthcare system increased.

On this week's Beyond the Headlines, host Gareth Browne takes a look at Lebanon’s failing health system and asks: can it survive the coronavirus pandemic?