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aounLebanese President Michel Aoun said on Thursday he was adamant to develop the public health sector in Lebanon, in a way that delivers best medical and hospitalization services to citizens.

Aoun was speaking at the ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the new health facility of the American University of Beirut’s Medical Center (AUBMC).

“We aspire to develop the health sector in Lebanon,” Aoun said, stressing the paramount importance of raising the standards of government-run hospitals, at the organization, care and treatment levels, to restore citizens’ faith in public health care domain.

“We long to see the doors of the hospitals open for every citizen, and not allow them to die on their doorsteps,” the President said.

Health Minister Jamil Jabak had previously said that his ministry would cancel contracts with any hospital that denies admission to patients, who cannot afford the fees.

Welcoming Aoun upon his arrival at the ceremony was President of the American University of Beirut Dr. Fadlo Khoury, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Mohammed Sayegh, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Philip Khoury.

The AUBMC’s new center foundation ceremony was attended by scores of political and concerned dignitaries, including Vice Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani, Ministers Selim Jreissati, Elias Bou Saab, Albert Serhan and Mohammed Daoud, in addition to US Chargé d’Affaires, Edward White.

Aoun stressed the substantial need to consecrate and highlight Lebanon’s distinguished and eminent message as a hub for hospitalization, tourism, openness, modernity, culture and science.

“Lebanon was, and still is, the hospital, the university, the book, the newspaper, the tourism, the nature and the openness. This is the Lebanon we need to strengthen,” Aoun stressed.

Former minister Raed Khoury met with Aoun on Thursday at the Baabda Palace to discuss the economic situation in the country. He said the President insists that the reform operation in Lebanon becomes constant, and not periodic.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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