As long as you don’t need water, access to health care, have no concerns about public safety, don’t mind being unemployed, enjoy adventures as a refugee, aren’t worried the occupying forces are going to target you, and relish the challenge of living in a country with no to little infrastructure, daily life in Iraq is just peachy. Of course if any of those things might say have a negative impact on your ability to survive, then daily life is an ever changing lurch to avoid disaster.
The Red Cross managed to highlight just a few minor barriers for Iraqi citizens.
Among the discovered gems of reality….
Iraqi hospitals lack qualified staff and basic drugs, and facilities are not properly maintained, the Red Cross said
So…. Iraqis can have a fruitful productive life as long as they don’t get sick.
Public hospitals provide 30,000 beds, less than half of the 80,000 needed. Few Iraqis can afford to seek help in private clinics where consultations cost $2-$7 because the average daily wage in the country is less than $5.
And if you’re poor…. don’t get sick.
The Red Cross said Iraqi officials estimate that more than 2,200 doctors and nurses have been killed and more than 250 kidnapped since 2003
Even if you can find your way to the hospital with a few bucks for treatment, it might be hard to find anybody qualified to actually treat or care for you.
Water supplies have inconveniently deteriorated.
And the whole concept of “public water”, well turns out that whole personal choices and free market solutions mantra is alive and well.
At current prices, families with only one earner spend a third of their income – or about $50 a month – on water alone, the Red Cross said
Isn’t democracy great? You get to pay for your own water instead of having your civil rights violated by being forced to share clean, public water with other people. Who needs for hospital beds anyway, people should just toughen up and take better care of themselves while they are dodging bombs and bullets in the street.
Mother Jones, featured an interview with a doctor turned journalist who got permission to film inside a hospital, present the conditions. The entire interview is well worth a read here.
The article opens with this scenario:
If you need a blood transfusion at Baghdad’s Al Yarmouk hospital, you can get one-so long as someone’s there to donate blood on your behalf. If you need an operation, you can have one of those too-though your only anesthetic might be your friends and family holding you down. One big explosion can dry up the hospital’s saline supplies for a week, leaving the next explosion’s victims without the necessary treatment. And where triage is within a war zone doctors and ambulance drivers are regularly threatened and harassed.
This circus of Kafka is compounded by suspicious militias roaming the hospital, a lifeless and bureaucratic Ministry of Health, an a largely absent American military support for hospitals. The interview goes on to describe the threats the filmmaker felt, the horrific conditions, and lack of supplies. He ultimately stopped filming due to personal safety concerns.
This is how patients and the few remaining health care providers are given support by the occupying forces and the fragile impotent government.
Usually we cannot contact the American military. If the doctors need to do something they are supposed to go through the Iraqi Ministry of Health. That’s the rule there. Despite the fact that there’s no law on the street, inside the hospital there’s this strong bureaucratic method of dealing with things. Unfortunately the ministry is really corrupt and busy with a lot of things other than making sure services are supplied to the people. At the hospital there are no medications and nobody to care for a lot of patients who are staying there. Even the morgues. Every hospital should have some refrigerator that they keep the bodies inside, but most of them are broken. Bodies are literally lying on the ground in the sun, in the heat. It’s horrible
Do we still expect the Iraqi people to relish their freedom when they have to pay for water and bring their own blood supply to the hospital? Is this democracy? Is this what giving Iraqis autonomy means? I am sure fewer people there are worried about going to hell or eternal damnation, seems like they have arrived.