the age on iraq's hospitals.

  1. 4,434 Posts.
    These are the reports war mongers don't want to see or hear about. So far as they're concerned, the seppos have won the war, the hearts and the minds of every Iraqi in Iraq!

    Iraqi public health in crisis: report

    December 1, 2004 - 2:39PM

    The war in Iraq has had a devastating effect on the health of Iraqis and the US is failing to repair the country's crippled health system, according to a new report.
    The report by global health research body Medact, called Enduring the Effects of War, found Iraq's health system is chronically underfunded, understaffed and mismanaged.
    The report did not attempt to count civilian casualties but backed up the findings of a recent estimate that more than 100,000 Iraqis have died since the war began.
    The report by Medact, the UK affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, calls for an independent assessment of casualties and the state of health in Iraq.
    The report also urges the coalition forces to boost funding for the rebuilding of the health system.
    At the Australian launch of the report, Medical Association for Prevention of War president Sue Wareham said it painted a grim picture of a health system in crisis.
    In 2003, over a quarter of primary health care centres had closed and many hospitals had been looted or damaged, Dr Wareham said.
    Between 30 and 40 per cent of women giving birth had no medical assistance at all and preventable diseases and mental illness were on the rise.
    This was on top of the thousands of deaths and injuries incurred in the war and the ongoing conflict between US-led forces and insurgents.
    Dr Wareham said the US Defence Department had been given responsibility for humanitarian relief but had been completely unprepared.
    "The Defence Department had no plan for health reconstruction," she said.
    "The UN, despite the fact that it had been planning for post-war humanitarian relief, was marginalised."
    VicHealth CEO Rob Moodie said the US carefully counted its own dead and injured but there had been no effort to quantify civilian suffering.
    "This report is important (because) it focuses on invisible people, it focuses on silent deaths," he said.
    "They are not counted (and) if they are not counted then there is no importance given to them."
    Professor Moodie, who was part of a study group that travelled to Iraq after the first Gulf War in 1991, said US military promises that the war would have minimal impact on civilians had been shown to be nonsense.
    "This report further underlines the fact that short, sharp, shock and awe, surgical wars with no collateral damage just do not exist," he said.
    The Medact study was based on information from the Iraqi Ministry of Health, the UN and on interviews with relief workers and health professionals.
    Dr Wareham said its findings were all the more tragic because health professionals had warned of the dangers and the US had still failed to prepare an plan for health reconstruction.
    She said the Australian government and other coalition partners had overlooked Iraqi suffering and now had to face up to their responsibilities as an occupying power.

    © 2004 AAP
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