Most doctors have fled occupied Iraq

This video says about itself:

Doctors in Iraq are recording a shocking rise in the number of cancer victims south of Baghdad. Sufferers in the province of Babil have risen by almost tenfold in just three years.

Locals blame depleted uranium from US military equipment used in the 2003 invasion. These cancer cases have spread fears among the locals, prompting them to demand an investigation.

In this part of Iraq, 500 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2004. That figure rose to almost 1,000 two years later.

In 2008, the number of cases increased sevenfold to 7,000 diagnoses. This year, there have so far been more than 9,000 new cases … and the number is rising.

Al Jazeera’s Mosab Jasim has been investigating.

Not just the situation for women in occupied Iraq is very bad.

Not just the overwhelming majority of the artists in Iraq from before the start of George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion have by now been killed or have fled the country.

The situation for doctors in the “new” democratic dictatorial Iraq of George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama, is horrible as well.

From Al Jazeera:

No relief for Iraqi doctors

As thousands of doctors leave Iraq, those who remain to heal the sick say they need more security and less corruption.

Dahr Jamail

Last Modified: 30 Jun 2011 06:55

“The hospital is crowded, the medical staff are overloaded, and we are deficient of medical staff because doctors continue to leave Iraq,” Dr Yehiyah Karim, a general surgeon at Baghdad Medical City, told Al Jazeera, “There is still the targeting of doctors.”

Dr Karim said that many Iraqi doctors are continuing to flee the country because kidnappings and assassinations are ongoing problems. Since the US invasion in 2003, doctors and other professionals in Iraq have been targets of these crimes in staggering numbers.

According to the Brookings Institute, prior to the US-led invasion in 2003, Iraq had 34,000 registered physicians. It is estimated 20,000 of those have left the country, and between 2007 and April 2009 only 1,525 had returned.

“Many doctors are still leaving the country because we are in danger,” Dr Karim, whose hospital is the largest medical center in the country, added. “Last week we had three doctors kidnapped in Kirkuk. Following this, doctors there didn’t go to work for two days. We always feel insecure about our safety.” …

In addition to the ongoing lack of security, Dr Karim said corruption within Iraq’s Ministry of Health continues to plague doctors.

“Distribution of medical supplies should be equal and proficient, and it is not,” he added, “There is favoritism for some hospitals to get medications, while others do not. Sometimes we get expired medications, or medications that are just about to expire. It is a faulty distribution problem, and mismanagement within the Ministry of Health.”

Last year, Transparency International’s annual corruption perceptions index ranked Iraq a dismal 175 out of 178 countries surveyed.

It is well known in Iraq that Baghdad’s US-backed government has been ripe with corruption for years. Yet critics say this trend was allowed by the US, who supposedly poured $61bn into Iraq’s reconstruction effort, which included roughly $1bn for Iraq’s health sector.

Dr Ali told Al Jazeera that the Ministry of Health is “full of corruption.”

“You can go to the hospital and find simple drugs like aspirin and pain killers that are lacking, while you can find medicines worth tens of thousands of dollars, like medications for multiple sclerosis that are available,” he explained, “The people [in the Ministry of Health] in charge of making these contracts are making crazy money out of this from kickbacks.”

Failed model

Osama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi parliament speaker, told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn.

“There is a lot of money missing during the first American administration of Iraqi money in the first year of occupation,” he said. “Iraq’s development fund has lost around $18bn of Iraqi money in these operations – their location is unknown.”

The Bush administration flew a total of $20bn in cash into the country in 2004. This was money that had come from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets. Pentagon officials have contended for the last six years that they could account for the money if given enough time to track down the records.

The US has audited the money three times, but has still not been able to say exactly where it went.

Iraq’s Ministry of Health has earned itself a reputation for engaging in massive spending in certain areas, while basic medical supplies and medicines are left unfunded and lacking.

“Sometimes we lack medications for chemotherapy or oncology, but we also lack for general surgery medications and instruments,” Dr Karim said.

Sporadic and infrequent availability of basic medical supplies, like IV needles and fluid bags, are a daily affliction for doctors trying to serve their patients.

From CTV in Canada:

A report in a prestigious British medical journal has made some troubling allegations against the military medical staff at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The author of the Lancet article claims U.S. Army medics actively participated in the abuse of Iraqi inmates.

The report says military doctors and nurses at the prison hid evidence of beatings at the prison, and failed to provide proper care to injured detainees.

What’s more, they falsified death certificates to cover up killings.

Both offences profoundly breach medical ethics and human rights, alleges bioethicist Dr. Steven Miles, of the University of Minnesota.

U.S. Monthly Combat Deaths in Iraq at 3-Year High: here.


Iraq is barely capable of protecting its vital oil infrastructure and could falter if its oil police do not get enough manpower and sophisticated security equipment soon, a senior Iraqi security official said: here.

Leaving Iraq: Why total U.S. military withdrawal is best: here.

Considering President Obama’s pledge to return 33,000 troops by the end of the year, there is cause for concern regarding the quality of civilian life many veterans will experience: here.

“War on Terror” Set to Surpass Cost of Second World War: here.

5 thoughts on “Most doctors have fled occupied Iraq

  1. Britain:

    No compensation for Iraq families

    COURTS: A High Court judge today blocked attempts by families of soldiers killed in Iraq to seek compensation from the government under human rights legislation.

    The families’ lawyers said they would appeal the verdict.

    But Mr Justice Owen allowed a negligence claim brought on behalf of one soldier’s child to go ahead, which lawyers hailed as a landmark ruling.


  2. Shell in line for £7.5bn gas deal

    IRAQ: Ministers hope to sign a £7.5 billion gas deal with Royal Dutch Shell tomorrow that would enable the transnational to capture gas flared from three giant southern oil fields in a joint venture with the state-owned South Gas company and Japanese corporation Mitsubishi.

    Shell has been pushing to exploit the vast Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna Phase 1 fields since an initial agreement was signed in 2008.

    Oil ministry spokesman Murtadha al-Jashaamy said: “We are hoping to sign an initial contract with Shell.”


  3. Suicide bomber strike kills five

    IRAQ: A suicide bomber drove his explosives-packed car into a security checkpoint in Abu Ghraib today, killing five members of the US-backed Awakening Council militia and injuring eight others.

    Meanwhile an oil executive announced that Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi have signed an initial deal with Iraqi ministers to tap natural gas in the occupied country’s south.

    Shell’s Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Mousnir Bouaziz said it will be sent to the Iraqi Cabinet for final approval.


  4. Pingback: Iraqi women worse off since US invasion | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: United-States-Iran war? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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