Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Perspective: Once one of the best, Iraqi health care on its deathbed

Above: A 10-year-old girl is brought to Charlie Medical Center at Camp Ramadi after being wounded in an insurgent attack.

At the 399th Combat Support Hospital in mid-July, a soldier carried an impossibly tiny, malnourished 5-year-old boy into the emergency room with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Every doctor and nurse’s face registered a flash of sorrow, but they immediately converged to treat him. After the child had gone through surgery, the sorrow returned as doctors talked about the next stage of treatment: the Iraqi health care system.

“The Iraqi medical system was one of the best in the Middle East prior to the Persian Gulf War,” said Col. Paul Astphan, acting commander of the unit. “Now they look upon their care as God’s will. If someone lives, great. If not, it’s God’s will. That’s the Iraqi health care system.”

Read the rest at Army Time s