Bedouin in Lebanon: Social discrimination, political exclusion, and compromised health care

Dawn Chatty, Nisrine Mansour, Nasser Yassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Global inequalities in health have long been associated with disparities between rich and poor nations. The middle-income countries of the Levant (Lebanon, Syria and Jordan) have developed models of health care delivery that mirror the often complex make-up of their states. In Lebanon, which is characterized by political clientelism and sectarian structures, access to health care is more contingent on ethnicity and religious affiliation than on poverty. This case study of the Bedouin of the Middle Bekaa Valley of Lebanon is based on interviews with policymakers, health care providers and the Bedouin as part of a study funded by the European Commission between 2006 and 2010. The study explores the importance of considering social discrimination and political exclusion in understanding compromised health care. Three decades after the Declaration of Alma Ata (1978), which declared that an acceptable level of health care for all should be attained by the year 2000, the Bedouin community of Lebanon remains largely invisible to the government and, thus, invisible to national health care policy and practice. They experience significant social discrimination from health practitioners and policymakers alike. Their unfair treatment under the health system is generally disassociated from issues of wealth or poverty; it is manifested in issues of access and use, discrimination, and resistance and agency. Overcoming their political exclusion and recognizing the social discrimination they face are steps that can be taken to protect and promote equal access to basic reproductive and child health care. This case study of the Bedouin in Lebanon is also relevant to the health needs of other marginalized populations in remote and rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume82
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Fingerprint

Social Discrimination
social discrimination
Lebanon
exclusion
health care
Delivery of Health Care
Health
Poverty
Syria
health
Jordan
Health Services Accessibility
Reproductive Health
Child Care
Health Policy
poverty
Health Personnel
Health Status
denomination
clientelism

Keywords

  • Access to health care
  • Bedouin
  • Compromised health care
  • Lebanon
  • Middle East
  • Political exclusion
  • Rural health care
  • Social discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Bedouin in Lebanon : Social discrimination, political exclusion, and compromised health care. / Chatty, Dawn; Mansour, Nisrine; Yassin, Nasser.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 82, 01.04.2013, p. 43-50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chatty, Dawn ; Mansour, Nisrine ; Yassin, Nasser. / Bedouin in Lebanon : Social discrimination, political exclusion, and compromised health care. In: Social Science and Medicine. 2013 ; Vol. 82. pp. 43-50.
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