Friday, March 23, 2007

Doctors Fleeing Iraq Chaos

The ordeal continues for victims of Iraq's violence when they are taken to hospital.

Most of the best medical staff have left after being targeted by insurgents. Many have fled the country just in the last few months.

Drugs and equipment are almost non-existent. The notorious militias target patients inside hospitals, and doctors inside the health ministry.

All this in a country that used to pride itself on the best medical services in the Middle East. ...

(A) doctor described what happens to Iraqis who go to hospital for treatment after a bomb attack.

"You can reach a hospital easily, but there is no one to deal with you. And if they do deal with you they [militias] might come and kill you afterwards," he said. "Patients will leave because they are threatened. ...

Doctor after doctor described how armed gangs have now infiltrated not just the hospitals, but the health ministry itself.

Another of this group of doctors, a top cardiologist, described how they met the Iraqi health minister in Amman recently.

"He told us that he can't do anything, because he is sitting on one floor. The floor above him belongs to one of the militias, the floor below belongs to another militia. He can see people fighting inside his ministry."

"None of the doctors can go inside the ministry of health because he will be kidnapped," chipped in another of the doctors.

"If they go in, they will not go out."


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