Al Jazeera Examines How War Has Affected Iraq’s Health System And Physicians

Al Jazeera examines how Iraq’s public health system has been affected by the war and the challenges doctors in the country currently face. Iraq had 34,000 registered physicians before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and it is estimated that 20,000 of them have left the country, according to the Brookings Institution. Between 2007 and April 2009, just 1,525 had returned. “Many doctors are still leaving the country because we are in danger,” said Yehiyah Karim, a general surgeon at Baghdad Medical City, the largest medical center in the country. “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,” he added.

The article also examines allegations of corruption within Iraq’s Ministry of Health and a breakdown of the country’s socialist medical system (Jamail, 6/30).