Health Care: A Human Right
Public Health Care in Libya prior to NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” was the best in Africa. Libya provided to its citizens what is denied to many Americans: Free public health care. Health care was available to all citizens free of charge by the public sector.
Medical treatment was free, not partially free, no co-payment. ALL healthcare was TOTALLY free no questions asked.
Libya’s health care sector also had GREAT doctors, so the care was NOT substandard. Under Gaddafi’s guidance Libya could boast one of the best healthcare services in the Arab and African world. The Libyan pharmaceutical sector is predominantly public, with the government aiming to provide medicines to all citizens. And if all else failed, if a Libyan citizen could not access the desired educational course or correct medical treatment in Libya they were funded to go abroad.
Nutrition and Agricultural Assistance Programs
With the introduction of free food staples and the assistance provided to farmers by 2009, 97% of the population has access to at least 3200 calories per day. That doesn’t mean they consume that many, but they have access to an abundance of food. Combined with the incredible increase in government funding into the health care system in general, Libya’s domestic programs provided for some of the best care available not only in Africa, but in industrialized countries as well.
The number of medical doctors and dentists reportedly increased sevenfold between 1970 and 1985, producing a ratio of one doctor per 673 citizens. The number of hospital beds tripled in this same time period.
Progress On Endemic Disease and Infant Mortality
Among major health hazards endemic in the country in the 1970s were typhoid and paratyphoid, infectious hepatitis, leishmaniasis, rabies, meningitis, schistosomiasis, venereal diseases, and the principal childhood ailments. Malaria has been eradicated, and significant progress has been made against trachoma and leprosy.
The infant mortality rate has dropped to less than 20 per 1,000. Life expectancy reached the highest of all African countries in 2003 when it surpassed 70 years, then when it reached 73.2 years in 2009 it was in competition with many western countries.