VICE made a brief documentary about the destruction of Baghdad’s health care system and the horrors Baghdadi doctors must endure since the illegal 2003 US invasion and subsequent occupation that destroyed the country, killed at least one million people (in a conservative estimate), and created the conditions that led to the rise of ISIS.
In the film, a Baghdadi doctor estimates that Sadr City needs four or five entire new hospitals to treat the torrents of patients who need medical assistance.
A doctor says that, since the illegal US invasion, “After 2003, the health system began to collapse” (6:49 in the film).
Because there are so many patients in need of care and so few doctors, a Baghdadi doctor explains that “A doctor in one day, he can see more than 200 emergency patients per day. In 8 hours” (6:58).
The narrator notes that, “According to an article in the medical journal the Lancet last year, 2,000 Iraqi doctors have been killed since 2003. Many more have fled to escape the ever-present violence, as doctors have become targets of kidnapping and bribery, and also bereaving families” (7:45).
A Baghdadi doctor says that “most of the doctors have left” since the 2003 US invasion. “They either go to Erbil, or they leave Iraq completely, because of the security situation” (8:48).
The film indicates that many of the doctors who did not flee were called by the government, or in some cases volunteered, to serve as medics for the soldiers fighting ISIS.
In all, Iraq is enduring not just a humanitarian disaster, in the wake of the ruin the US and other Western allies wrought with their illegal invasion and occupation, but also a medical disaster.