Official: There is no public health crisis in Iraq
There is no public health crisis in Iraq, according to Director General of the Department of Logistics at the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Al Talibi. The department manages the country’s state-owned enterprise for the purchase and distribution of medical equipment and systems.
Addressing a gathering of UK and US exhibitors at the Arab Health exhibition and conference at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre, Talibi said currently within Iraq there were 240 public hospitals, 1,200 primary health centers and 70 private hospitals.
He told delegates that there were 124,000 personnel now working for the Iraq Ministry of Health, 29,000 hospital beds were available and the Ministry employed some 29,000 physicians and 35,000 nurses.
Talibi said the visit of an Iraqi delegation of medical professionals to Arab Health was the first official overseas mission of the country’s healthcare representatives in 37 years. The Iraqi delegation is visiting Arab Health at the invitation of the UK and US governments, supported by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad, and IIR Exhibitions, the organizers of Arab Health.
Various areas of Iraq’s healthcare system were now being considered for privatization, said Talibi. These, he said, include the department of logistics; pharmaceuticals, supplies and equipment importation; warehousing and distribution; medical maintenance, vehicle management as well as state-owned or controlled pharmaceuticals companies.
He told delegates that pre-1980, Iraq was a regional leader in health but that during the 1980s and 1990s the system suffered from corruption, cronyism and technological stagnation. He described how in 2002, Iraq’s healthcare budget was $16 million for 25 million people - a 90 percent reduction from a decade earlier. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)