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The Health Care Revival in Iraq

Jennifer Fisher Wilson
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Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.


Ann Intern Med. 2004;141(10):825-828. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-141-10-200411160-00027
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Cardiologist Mahmud Thamer, MD, returned to Iraq last year for the first time in almost 25 years. The country's once-prestigious medical system was in chaos, with doctors and nurses working for no pay, facilities in disrepair, medicines in scant supply, and recent looting and burning. Many of the physicians with whom he had worked during the 1960s had survived the regime, he discovered, but the long-term pressures from living in a dictatorship and being isolated from the rest of the world had taken their toll. Since the Ba'athist coup of 1968, free speech had become impossible, imprisonment and murder had become everyday threats, and corruption had spread deep into the medical system.

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