The Medical Assistance Program started in 1988 to provide chronically ill patients with essential medicines during the civil war. The project benefited chronically ill patients with acute poverty as well as refugees displaced as a result of the war. The project aimed at providing these subjects with drugs free of charge through existing local dispensaries operated by local NGOs.
In 1993, and as recognition of the importance of the program increased, the Ministry of Public Health (MOH) intervened with its financial support for the program. In 2009 the MOH contribution amounted to 4.875 billion Lebanese pounds ($3.2 million US Dollars).
Part of the medical assistance work that the YMCA engages in includes:
Funded by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), the YMCA works with 447 partner clinics and dispensaries around the country. Over the past few years, it has established a computerized medical records system which provides increased speed and accuracy at all stages of a patient’s care from data entry to the reporting of results, covering programmatic, financial, warehousing and other key aspects.
The computer information also helps control the work in the socio-medical centers so that proper distribution of the medicines, good follow-up with beneficiaries and all treatment procedures are implemented according to the program rules and regulations. All participating dispensaries must be officially licensed by MOH. In addition, they have to meet special criteria, defined by the YMCA of Lebanon which states that the dispensaries should be equipped with qualified physicians and staff, they should be able to fulfill the administrative requirements of the project, and they should reliably adhere to the inclusion criteria of the benefiting patients.
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