Healthcare Vs. War
Before the age of wars in Iraq, i.e. 1980s Iraq had the most efficient and durable health care industry in whole of Middle East. Unfortunate battles and international interventions have changed the fate of health care in Iraq. For past few years, Iraq was all in blood and health ministry was run by Shia Muslims. So it was difficult for the Sunni Muslims to appreciate their services due to fear. The past thus was fearful and very forgettable. But today Iraqis are safer and can move freely and even hospitals are acceptable institutions. But progress is somehow not as expected.
Though free service is the name which government works under, there are hardly any services they have to offer. The attention and treatment patients require is acute and ill equipped doctors and hospitals have no answer to their calls. These patients have to turn to private institutions where they are robbed but nevertheless are saved. On the other hand though, the poor are the ones who cannot knock those doors. Especially in villages the circumstances is shoddier. Emergency is not a word which can be taken easily in public hospitals as they don't even have emergency painkillers and antibiotics for immediate action.
Laboratories and diagnostic machines are a specific disability which keeps people waiting outside private health centers or in best of cases the samples are taken and are sent out by the hospitals themselves. Heart Attack and cancer patients are the severe most victims not only devastated by their disease but also by the ineffective services of Radiotherapy and Nuclear medicine hospital. Similarly, other hospitals have their share of inefficiencies. Yarmouk and many other hospitals have scared the patients with cases of deserted areas in hospitals which are about to collapse.
Anything from a small plastic syringe to a helper accompanied along with the patient is more than welcome. All they want is to hide their flaws and exploit the patients. Workers have to be bribed even to get the treatment done and in order to avoid long queues and waits for operations. Another serious concern is that the marked government drugs for public hospitals should reach their destination but instead they are found at private stores and this shows the sorry state of healthcare industry in Iraq. Everything is openly accepted but no legal actions are carried out towards the ones who involve in such crime.
There have been cases of sere negligence where a lot of expired drugs were also purchased by the health ministry. A lot of dollars were issued for purchase of medical goods but deliverables never reach hospitals and such rackets are alleviating the misery of the general public. Nevertheless, there are some improvements recently, doctors who are wanted the most are returning home and efforts to lure the foreign investors in health industry is also taken underway. But all said and done, the entire process of healthcare industry has to immunized first before taking up new initiatives and that is the bottom line.