US President Bush met with the Iraqi Interim Minister of Health, Khudair Abbas and six other Iraqi physicians at the White House December 15, 2003 to discuss improvements in Iraq's health services since the fall of the Ba'athist regime.
In remarks with Abbas and Iraqi Ambassador Rend Al-Rahim after the meeting, Bush told reporters in Washington that the Iraqi doctors were anxious to work with American counterparts to enhance medical education and integrate advanced technologies into Iraqi healthcare.
The White House released a fact sheet regarding improvements in Iraqi healthcare. It states that with 240 hospitals and more than 1,200 primary health clinics in operation, the country has returned to its pre-war
The fact sheet said the Iraqi Ministry of Health now has 100,000 healthcare professionals and staff throughout the country, and has received grants to immunize its 4.2 million children under the age of five against preventable diseases such as polio, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, and tuberculosis.
"I think the budget of Saddam Hussein's government for health was, like, $16 million -- less than a dollar per person," Bush said. According to the fact sheet, Iraq's 2004 budget for health care is $950 million. — (menareport.com)
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