Declining Healthcare System In Kurdistan
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.