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Iraqi Doctors-Healers In A War Zone

January 28, 2010 1 comment

Hello it’s me again ! :)… This blog post is written by my most senior neurosurgeon at our college Dr Ali Al Shalchi :
The health care services in Iraq are mainly divided to goveremental and non goveremental (public and private)…. There is no clear cut line between those two categories… About 80% of the doctors and parastaff work in both public and private sectors for financial support , or the lack of feeling of job security as the future of your career in any of the two sectors is never guaranteed, so you wouldn’t want to put all of your egges in one basket , and the same is true for Iraqi patients who use public and private health care services both at the same time- public because it is free of charge and private because it is advanced and better developed… the remaining 20% working exclusively for the public sector are having a big under carpet battle against the 80%, of course they lack the number of fighters but they have the laws in their hands which they can almost always manipulate. The presence of this continous battle is not always bad as the Iraqi patient can benefit from it considering the fact that private health care services are now much more developed and advanced than they used to be before… Unfortunately this is not the case with public health care services as there is the lack of modern and advanced equipments, having machines that are out of date, lack of modern and effective medications, and of course the after 2003 problems-politicising public health care, sectarian attitude and tensions, and also the security threats that health care professionals have to face (threats, kidnappings, assassinations, ect., ect.,),although at the moment those security threats are not as serious as they used to be before, not to mention of course the problem of brain drain and the immigration of qualified health care professional to outside Iraq… The past 6 years have witnessed an enomerous increase in the number of training programmes for Iraqi doctors to the outside of Iraq including Europe, India, ect., ect., with an excellent feedback but of course still with much placebo effect by out of reality programmes or self ambition programmes but the net result was positive by all means.
Since last yeat, the trend in the Iraqi ministry of health was to initiate primary, secondary, and tertiary health care centres which is an excellent step to help ease the pressure on our hospitals in one hand and make use of the primary health care services which were almost doing nothing but vaccination and delivering drugs for chronic diseases… This is a real chalange, and if it can succeed then it will be a very important asset to public health care sector in Iraq if it can succeed.. The other duty of the health care foundations in co-operation with the ministry of higher education is training of medical students, I was able to visit UK at 2007 and I can say with confidence that our training programmes for under-graduate students are really excellent and up to date…. The last thing that I would like to say here is that all we need is more organization as our doctors have been doing an absolutely fantastic job in a country that has suffered a great deal over years, both before and after 2003…

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