Libya’s Health Care system has suffered from neglect and mismanagement for over 40 years, and despite many Libyans earning degrees in medicine and health care in universities around the world, the sector has not been able to keep pace with demand and needs, or with other neighboring countries in the region. Since the Revolution ended, however, the country is keen to rebuild this vital sector as quickly as possible, and to show the Libyan people that progress is being made quickly. Health care is one of the key pillars of effectiveness for any Government, and expectations of the people are already high.

As a result of the Revolution, many qualified Libyan doctors left the country. This unfortunately has led to many unqualified people entering the medical field, and has even allowed some health providers to practice without licenses, thereby putting the lives of Libyan citizens in danger. Some commentators have noted that the increase in poor oversight and lack of management has even led to corruption at some levels of the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The absence of a governing body to protect patients, doctors, or health service employees has significantly damaged the healthcare system in Libya, further necessitating its urgent reform. Libya faces a critical shortage of the well-trained health care technical specialists and experienced managers who can administer and supervise the effective delivery of health services, as well as a fundamental deficiency of devoted doctors, nurses, and technicians. In Libya, only a very few people have an MBA or other advanced degree or formal training in health service management. This wholly inadequate pool of qualified managers who could spearhead health service administration improvement is consequently unable to meet the country’s vital needs.

Perhaps more important, there is no licensing system in the country, resulting in many doctors and nurses practicing without licenses. This is not to say that all unlicensed physicians and other practitioners are unqualified or incapable, but there is clearly no governing body to protect patients, or even doctors or health service employees, by ensuring that all such providers have been certified as qualified, and licensed to provide this very expert care.

Another crucial problem is that too many hospitals in Libya are old, badly equipped and maintained, and have too many critical staffing issues. All of these problems are a result of the lack of effective polices and of efficient management, which played a major role in the current deterioration and deficiency of Libya’s health system, and the limitations of the MOH itself.

The American Libyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI) is therefore focused on finding American companies that can help rebuild the sector, and quickly assure availability of world-class health care services in Libya. Our goal is to eliminate existing gaps in health services, and to restore the necessary infrastructure in this (and other sectors) for the country.

This is a challenge that the ALCCI is particularly well equipped to address, and to help vastly and quickly improve the health care system in Libya. For American companies, the critical first step is to understand how the MOH will develop a Strategic Plan to address all these weaknesses. ALCCI can therefore create a practicable and objective approach to quickly and cost-effectively resolve the problems, and help the MOH design and implement the health care system that Libyans deserve – and desire. ALCCI members who can provide medical and other relevant experts, who know the sector well, and who have the requisite knowledge of Libya to make this work, will find unparalleled opportunities in this potential market.

ALCCI believes the United States and our innovative and world-class medical and health care companies can thereby help the Libyan Government (and the MOH) develop a methodical partnership with the private sector to quickly identify and implement the vital improvements needed for its healthcare system. We are also confident that American companies can examine and help craft the requisite Laws and rules to protect both patients and providers, and to create that crucial aspect of a world-class health care infrastructure.

ALCCI seeks to promote and build effective partnerships between key private companies in key health sectors in America that can benefit the entire Libyan health care system itself. ALCCI wants to help MOH and individual hospitals and clinics acquire top management and technical training programs for all staff, and explore partnerships with hospitals in America that can provide that training, and share treatment protocols and technologies, and even offer online discussion and treatment options. ALCCI also wants to introduce U.S. firms that can help MOH create a Medical Licensing Body and a Review Board Process to ensure only fully qualified providers are permitted to practice, and closely monitor how well they provide their services.

ALCCI can help cultivate effective Libyan partnerships for U.S. providers, equipment suppliers and financial institutions, pharmaceutical and other firms that can develop this system in the shortest time possible, and make Libya a regional center of health care excellence. We can also assist medical companies explore the potential to establish manufacturing facilities in Libya that will provide many thousands of good jobs (American and Libyan) in every aspect of this sector, and make Libya a destination of choice for medical patients from across the region..