A number of Tunisian clinics continue to refuse to receive and treat Libyan patients, under the pretext of the Libyan state failing to pay overdue debts to the clinics.
According to the Libyan news agency, patients who are being treated at the expense of the Libyan state reported that “the administrations of these sanatoriums, which had – removed them earlier, stopped their treatment.”
They added that the clinics dealt with the Libyan patients “in a provocative manner without any regard for their difficult health conditions.” The clinics also refused to readmit them, and continue their treatment.
Such clinics refrained from dealing with letters addressed to them by the Libyan Embassy in Tunis, and demanded that the outstanding debts be paid.
The witnesses explained that “this sudden measure included all patients in most of the clinics who suffer from tumours, heart disease, strokes, and other illnesses.” They indicated their “inability to rent modest apartments and houses, most of which lack the most basic life necessities, including heating.”
They affirmed that their “difficult health and financial conditions forced them to return home as a result of the delay in addressing the problem with the Tunisian clinics.”
Libyan patients appealed to the authorities, led by the Ministry of Health, to intervene quickly to solve the issue.
In Early January, Al-Areej International Medical Services Company in Tunisia said that no new Libyan patients will be accepted. It added that current patients will be discharged from medical clinics in Tunisia, due to the accumulation of debts and non-payment by the Libyan Embassy.
The company is the exclusive agent contracted by the Libyan Ministry of Health for years, to treat Libyan patients in Tunisia. The company has monopolized treatments and “consistently humiliated Libyans who receive treatment,” according to the testimony of several patients.
The company imposed large increases in treatment prices, under the pretext that it provides its services on credit. The patients confirmed that “as soon as payments stop, the company will expel them and stop treatment until the money is deposited in its accounts.”