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Lebanon doctors stop working due to fuel crisis

Medical staff are pictured outside AUBMC (American University of Beirut Medical Centre) in the Lebanese capital Beirut on March 17, 2021 [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images]
Medical staff are pictured outside AUBMC (American University of Beirut Medical Centre) in the Lebanese capital Beirut on March 17, 2021. - Doctors warn a country once dubbed "the hospital of the Arab world" is haemorrhaging its best and brightest. Lebanon's worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war has hit even the top echelons of the population. Doctors have seen their salaries or fees plummet in value, and their dollar savings trapped in the bank, all the while being overwhelmed by a deadly pandemic. Even basic medication has gone out of stock. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Lebanese doctors in the northeastern Hirmil district stopped working yesterday in protest against fuel shortages and the inability to reach their workplace, the official Lebanese News Agency reported.

The doctors said in a statement that they took the decision after they were unable to secure petrol for their cars, and after making all efforts at all levels and appealing to officials, but to no avail.

The statement warned that more doctors in neighbouring regions will join their protest in the coming hours, which may cause a "catastrophic health crisis for emergency patients, trauma, heart attacks, and emergency surgery patients."

In their statement, the doctors appealed to the local authorities to help secure petrol for them, "to preserve their humanitarian role".

READ: France pledges vaccines, $119m aid to Lebanon 1 year after deadly blast

The district's population is estimated at 30,000 people.

Lebanon has suffered a devastating economic collapse. The crisis, which has forced three-quarters of the population into poverty, is the biggest threat to Lebanon's stability since the 1975-90 civil war.

It hit a crunch point last month when fuel shortages brought much of the country to a standstill, triggering numerous security incidents, mounting concern in the West, and warnings of worse to come unless action is taken.

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