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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This seems a remarkably frank article. No shifted blame on to SH's 'neglect', mention of sanctions, mention of the previous high standards, clear indications of serious shortcomings eg some hospitals without antibiotics. Just recently there has been considerable attention focused on the state of hospitals etc. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/World/iraq_healthcare_040318- 1.html Iraq's Prewar Health Care System Was Once Region's Best By Peter Jennings B A S R A, Iraq, March 18 — Following the car bomb that exploded at a Baghdad hotel Wednesday, most of the casualties were taken to the Ibn Nafis hospital, near the site of the bombing. The 240-bed facility is 40 years old. The day after, surgeon Mohamed al Amari, who is also the hospital's director, was checking on his patients. One man, who was working at the hotel reception desk when the bomb went off, was in the hospital having shrapnel removed. He recalled his experience. "I heard the bombing and realized it was so close, and a splinter of glass came flying into my stomach," he said in Arabic. Among the Best in the Middle East Iraqi hospitals used to be among the very best in the Middle East, and Iraqi doctors have a long reputation of specialization and research. But the war was tough, and 10 years of economic sanctions on Iraq were tough, too. Right after the war, there was no security, and many hospitals were looted, as a result. There were horror stories of patients' families storming hospitals, demanding care. Amari said one of his biggest concerns is that a man will come into the hospital, armed with a gun, and demand that doctors save the life of someone who has been shot in a gunfight — or just shot. The United States, Amari believes, has not made Iraq more secure. After the hotel bombing, the hospital staff that lives in other parts of the city worried about getting to work. The city, they claim, is just not safe at night. Even Amari was afraid to drive to work. "You don't know … maybe looters, maybe bombing, maybe everything. I don't know," he said. Luckily, Ibn Nafis does not have an urgent need for medicine or medical equipment. When the hospital is in need of something, Amari asks the Ministry of Health, which works with the U.S. occupation authorities. He usually gets what he needs in time. The United States has increased doctors' salaries by about $20 a month, but they still make less than $200 a month. One of the pediatric hospitals has recently been given 10 new incubators, and there has been a campaign to immunize children against childhood diseases. There are 240 public hospitals in Iraq and 1,200 health centers. They could all use something. Some hospitals have not been able to get antibiotics, and there is only one liquid oxygen producer in the entire country. The United States and many private organizations have been helping the Iraqis restore the system. But it is nowhere near its former glory. Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk