Lebanon News

Last Al-Fanar patients moved, many unhappy

Patients at the Al-Fanar Psychiatric Hospital on Feb. 19, 2019. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: As the last of the patients at the shuttered Al-Fanar Psychiatric Hospital were transferred to other institutions, employees said some of the former patients were struggling with the change. Employees at Al-Fanar told The Daily Star Friday that the families of patients who were transferred to Santa Maria Medical Center in the Jbeil town of Halat called to tell them that the patients were finding the adjustment difficult.

Some said the patients felt lost and didn’t know how to take medicine or eat or drink in the new medical facility.

The last remaining patients were transferred Thursday.

The patient transfers began Tuesday as patients were relocated to hospitals across the country, including to Halat and Tyre’s Jwayya, in cooperation with the Lebanese Red Cross and the Islamic Health Committee.

Al-Fanar had housed 170 patients, some of whom had been at the hospital for nearly 30 years.

The condition of the hospital, which is located in south Lebanon’s Msaileh, sparked public outrage following recent media reports that the indicated the facility lacked basic hygiene and equipment, adequate bedding and bathrooms or a heating system.

Earlier this week arrest warrants were issued for hospital Director Samar Labban and Health Ministry Director of Medical Care Joseph El Helou.

Both remain detained.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 23, 2019, on page 3.




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