Because of the fires… a “mass escape” from taking over health positions in Iraq


Accidents in recent months have killed and injured more than 400 Iraqis as a result of fires that broke out in government hospitals, the last of which was a “disaster”. Al Hussein Hospital in province Dhi Qar.

In an indication of the “wear out” of the infrastructure and the absence of services, former doctors and officials refuse to take over hospital administrations for fear of being held responsible for disasters, fires and the death of patients on the recovery family.

The health authorities in Dhi Qar said that many hospital directors have resigned from their positions in the governorate since the deadly fire that ravaged the unit. COVID-19 At Al-Hussein Hospital in Nasiriyah, last Monday.

The general official in charge of health authorities, Dr. Saad Al-Majid, stated that the directors and deputy directors of at least 5 hospitals in the governorate left them, leaving the management of the institutions to less qualified employees.

“We are not responsible”

He explained that the motive is the fear that they will be held responsible in the event of a new disaster, with the successive fires in the city Iraq Hospitals dilapidated.

This is the first time that officials and administrators have refused positions in government sectors, in a country where the position represents an important resource for financing parties and achieving significant financial gains.

The problem of Iraqi hospitals is not only a lack of medical staff, equipment and medicines, but also the deterioration of the infrastructure, and the transformation of hospitals into disease-infested places.

The health system has recorded a sharp decline since the nineties of the last century, due to the economic turmoil, the blockade, and the conflicts in the country.

Doctor Wael Al-Shammari in Dhi Qar Governorate said, “The reason for the doctors’ reluctance to take over responsibilities is the absence of the machine they work with, such as modern hospitals, technologies, devices, and advanced health services, which makes this doctor vulnerable to the anger of the auditors and patients, because they do not They see one of the senior officials, so it was agreed not to take the position of (hospital director), and to be satisfied with sub-departments, to keep things moving.”

Al-Shammari added to “Sky News Arabia”: “The health sector in the country suffers a great deterioration, in light of a fanatic tribal society, which does not understand much how things are managed, and does not differentiate between the doctor and the official who equips the doctor with tools, which makes our work risky, in light of the outbreak of the virus.” Corona epidemic.

He pointed out that “there is an agreement in Dhi Qar province between doctors not to take responsibility for any hospital until the health sector conditions are improved, in order to avoid the disaster of Al-Hussein Teaching Hospital.”

Huge budgets
Despite the huge annual budgets of the health sector in Iraq, the decline in the sector is still inherent in the successive governments in the country, and the hospitals remain as they were before 2003, which naturally dates back to the eighties and seventies of the last century, which causes an increase in the number of Iraqis going to other countries for treatment or to the Kurdistan region.

And on Saturday, a group of 7 people attacked health workers in Canadian Hospital In the capital, Baghdad, after a relative died of symptoms of the Corona virus, before an officer in the security forces with the rank of major tried to prevent the group from attacking the medical staff.

The reason for this attack was that the main oxygen system suddenly stopped, which caused the death of 4 corona patients. According to local sources, a security force arrived at the scene of the fight and arrested the attacking group.

With the outbreak of the Corona epidemic last year, I was exposed to The health system in Iraq, to tremendous pressure, as public hospitals were designated to receive those infected with the virus.

This means that the need for medical personnel and support services to treat them has increased, which has prompted some governorates to establish hospitals out of “caravans”, in an urgent and bad manner.

The vaccination program is reeling

Estimated figures indicate that the number of main and subsidiary health centers in Iraq is 2,765 centers and public and private hospitals, which makes Iraq need an additional 3,000 health centers to keep pace with international standards, as it cannot cover an estimated 40 million people, according to estimates by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning. for the year 2019.

What increased pressure on hospitals is the outbreak of Corona, as the ministry records on a daily basis between 8 and 9 thousand injuries, and dozens of deaths, while vaccination plans are faltering, due to the social view of the vaccine, and the lack of sufficient awareness of the public.

The Ministry of Health, at first, imposed on citizens to register through an electronic platform, but in light of the weak demand for vaccines, it allowed direct vaccination, which raised fears of affecting the registrants via the electronic platform, as citizens complained about the delay in informing them of the date of the dose. The first for more than two months.

Activist Bilal Al-Suwaidi said that “indicators warn of a major catastrophe that may befall Iraq, in the coming months, due to the decline in the level of health services to minimum levels, and the spread of several diseases other than the Corona virus, such as hemorrhagic fever, and others. This raises questions about the ability of our health system to withstand that!”.

Al-Suwaidi added in a comment to “Sky News Arabia”: “The health boat is sinking, and the doctors’ refusal to take up positions is a right decision, to pressure officials to modify their behavior, and give the health sector a more important aspect, before the disaster strikes.”


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