the benefits of the seppo invasion:

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    Iraq health care 'in deep crisis'

    Iraq's health system is in a far worse condition than before the war, a British medical charity says.
    Doctors from the group Medact conducted surveys with international aid groups and Iraqi health workers in September.
    They exposed poor sanitation in many hospitals, shortages of drugs and qualified staff and huge gaps in services for mothers and children.
    Medact, which monitors healthcare in post-conflict areas, called for an inquiry into the situation.
    It has also challenged the British government to set up a commission to establish the level of civilian casualties in Iraq.
    Damaged hospitals
    "The war is a continuing public health disaster that was predictable - and should have been preventable," the group says.
    "Excess deaths and injuries and high levels of illness are the direct and indirect results of ongoing conflict."
    Groups like the medical charity Merlin and the UN aid organisation Unicef were among those whose staff provided information.
    They paint a picture of a health service struggling to cope and, because of the continuing violence, a population often afraid to leave their homes to seek medical help.
    Twelve percent of Iraq's hospitals were damaged during the war and the country's two main public health laboratories were also destroyed, the report says.
    UK foreign secretary Jack Straw pointed out that since the conflict 95% of children under five had been immunised, some 150 primary health care centres were planned and a string of hospitals in the south of the country had been renovated.
    Medact accuses the UK and US governments and Iraqi authorities of denying "the true extent of harm" to Iraq's civilians.

    It also says health relief and reconstruction efforts have been bungled through mismanagement and corruption.
    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: 2004/11/30 16:08:12 GMT

    © BBC MMIV
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