Improving Healthcare in Iraq

Basically, modern medical care and medications are not widely available in Iraq due to the conflict which has left some medical facilities non-operational and medication stocks and supplies severely depleted. In 2011, USAID awarded University Research Company LLC a four year Primary Health Care Project in Iraq (PHCPI) to help the Ministry of Health improve the quality of care for the Iraqi people.

PHCPI is working to provide not only essential primary health care services but also to expand services throughout the country, and provide services for vulnerable and at-risk populations to include children under five, women, and displaced persons.

The Iraqi pharmaceutical industry has experienced remarkable growth in the country at 61 percent. The volume of spending on pharmaceutical supplies reached about $1.2 billion in 2012 and is expected to rise during the current year to $1.5 billion. The Ministry of Health is seeking to import 1000 different types of medicines to fill the shortfall in the field and has allotted 26.6 percent of the total budget for this purpose.

To provide better healthcare in the country, under the U.S–Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement signed in 2012, the two governments agreed to cooperate in the areas of health, agriculture, water, and private-sector development. USAID and the Government of Iraq’s (GOI) Ministry of Health are working together to improve clinics, hospitals, develop training for Iraqi doctors, and at the same time, expand foreign trade and investment.

USAID & GOI Partnership projects will:

  • Establish model health clinics—USAID will establish 36 model clinics in 18 provinces. Clinics will include all necessary equipment and modern systems and provide for training the staff
  • Outfit Basrah Children’s Hospital and Maysan Hospital—The U.S. government will outfit the hospital with advanced equipment, including a magnetic resonance imaging machine and computed tomography scanner. The GOI will continue to train and maintain the facility.
  • Complete the construction of a Surgical Hospital—U.S government will construct the surgical hospital and the GOI will assume responsibility for the medical equipment, furniture, and staffing as well as the maintenance and operation of the facility upon transfer
  • Train Iraqi doctors—The Ministries of Health and Higher Education in partnership with the U.S Department of State and CDC will provide field epidemiology training to help Iraqi doctors understand disease surveillance, outbreak response, and applied epidemiology
  • Provide discussions on how to expand foreign and investment—The U.S. government will advise U.S companies of the growing healthcare market in Iraq
  • Review the investment picture in Iraq periodically—The two governments will review laws, regulation, and other practices in the sector to help bring advanced healthcare solutions to the Iraqi market

For more information, go to the Ministry of Health at www.moh.gov.iq/english.

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