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December 17, 2003
Iraqi health department declares independence

This Elizabeth Thompson Beckley story is from Modern Physician and requires free registration.

In January, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Iraq will become the first independent, accountable department in the new Iraqi government, says Health Minister Khudair Abbas, M.D.

The Coalition Provisional Authority relationship with the Health Ministry, or MOH, has been one of "a good working team," says Abbas, an expatriate Iraqi surgeon who has practiced in the United Kingdom for 23 years.

This is a good sign, I think. Health care is one of those things that, when you need it, you need it now so the fact that this department is getting up and running so quickly is good for Iraq.

Care will be paid for by the state, Abbas says, as opposed to the self-financed system under the regime of Saddam Hussein.

"In the immediate and short-term, we will provide free care," Abbas says. "The poor already suffered under self-finance."

He says he has written to the Governing Council to abolish the self-financed system for the near future but acknowledges that the private sector will have a larger role to play in the future.

Hey! No fair! They're getting a better democracy than ours!

(Kidding, children. Just kidding.)

Posted by AnneZook at 02:59 PM