De­clin­ing Health­care Sys­tem In Kur­dis­tan

The Kurdish Globe - - CULTURE - Diane Rah

Re­cently a friend of mine re­turned back from Kur­dis­tan, and she spoke at length about the health­care sys­tem in the re­gion, and I have started to learn that the health­care sys­tem in the re­gion has a long way to go be­fore it can pro­vide pa­tients with the best health­care.

Typ­i­cally, a trip to Kur­dis­tan or other African and Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries will in most cases in­clude a trip to the hospi­tal. You’d be sur­prised at the rea­sons why many western­ers be­come hos­pi­tal­ized or re­ceive treat­ment while abroad. This is due to sev­eral rea­sons, for in­stance the sud­den change of cli­mate and water is a ma­jor is­sue. Those with a food fetish will come to learn that eat­ing at any lo­cal restau­rant or diner will have health con­se­quences, par­tic­u­larly since many cheap and ‘on-the-go’ places tend to be quite dirty.

My friend Lana found her­self in a hospi­tal within the sec­ond largest province of Sle­mani. A few hours visit to the doc­tors was suf­fi­cient to re­veal that the health­care sys­tem is lack­ing a stan­dard­ized in­fra­struc­ture that can lead by co­her­ence, accountability and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. What shocked me was the pho­tos Lana took dur­ing her visit, which in­di­cated that even the most ba­sic pro­ce­dures such as hy­giene was be­ing over­looked.

It would be grossly un­fair to try and com­pare the Kur­dish health care sys­tem to the ones in west­ern coun­tries such as Nor­way that has of­ten been re­warded in­ter­na­tion­ally for its ex­cel­lent health­care sys­tem. Mainly be­cause the Kur­dis­tan re­gion is still re­cov­er­ing from a dam­aged and un­su­per­vised health­care in­fra­struc­ture in the past. De­spite a notso-im­pres­sive health­care his­tory in the re­gion, Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government and the med­i­cal staff in all as­pects of health­care should fore­see greater re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that a bet­ter health­care fu­ture gets devel­oped.

Some of the ma­jor dis­ap­point­ments she ob­served be­sides the filthy re­strooms and un­pleas­antly heavy smell of dried blood and medicine odor, Lana was quick to point out that a sys­tem­atic wait­ing list was al­most nonex­is­tent. Ac­cord­ing to her there was lack of con­fi­den­tial­ity and pri­vacy, and most im­por­tantly the ef­fi­ciency of staff to pro­vide an im­par­tial and fair treat­ment for all re­gard­less of good ‘con­nec­tion’.

I be­lieve the con­di­tions are worth a per­sonal visit in or­der to make the best of judg­ment, how­ever I value Lana’s im­ages and don’t doubt that they alone speak louder than many words. I am not the first and will most prob­a­bly not be the last per­son to write with un­re­served en­thu­si­asm and care that the Kur­dish health­care sys­tem needs change.

Nec­es­sary re­forms must be made on a na­tional level with a par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant role ded­i­cated to the Min­istry of Health who must lay a co­her­ent ground­work for all prac­ti­cal and eth­i­cal guide­lines and codes. It is vi­tal that they over­see mon­i­tor­ing rou­tines for sev­eral as­pects of the health in­sti­tu­tions such as; keep­ing hy­gienic pro­ce­dures in check at all times, en­sur­ing ex­pired med­i­ca­tions are rightly dis­posed and not dis­trib­uted and most im­por­tantly train­ing staff at a pro­fes­sional level.

The list for spe­cific changes can be end­less and now that we pride our­selves for eco­nomic pros­per­ity and growth we have no rea­son to hes­i­tate with de­vel­op­ing and bet­ter­ing the most im­por­tant part of Kur­dis­tan’s in­fra­struc­ture. The Kur­dish health­care sys­tem needs to be nur­tured and cared for, the health of the ci­ti­zens are far more im­por­tant than the build­ing of mas­sive and lav­ish malls. Af­ter-all health­care is the right of all ci­ti­zens.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.