Crime Wave Targets Baghdad Doctors, Whose Only Choice Is To Emigrate
Last week, unknown assailants broke into the medical clinic of Iraqi doctor, Salim Abdul-Hamzah, in the Maamel neighbourhood of Baghdad.
In other parts of Baghdad, two doctors were kidnapped: Mohammed Ali Zayer who works in a hospital in the Sadr City area and Saad Abdul Hur who had a private clinic in the New Baghdad neighbourhood.
In the same week, a dentist, Shatha Faleh, was killed in a medical centre in the Washwash area.All of the above happened within the space of just one week in Baghdad. No wonder Iraqi doctors are worried.
“The recent crime wave targeting Iraqi doctors is catastrophic for the country,” Jasib al-Hajami, a senior official in the Baghdad health department, told NIQASH.
“The doctors and medical staff are the real wealth of our country and these crimes targeting them will push medical professionals out of Iraq. In fact, many of them have migrated or are thinking about migrating. More efforts must be made to protect them.”
On June 25, doctors in Baghdad and in other parts of the country organised sit-ins inside their local hospitals to protest the crime wave that appeared aimed at them and their colleagues. Their banners called upon the Ministry of Health to offer them better protection and the individuals protesting also warned of a decrease in the number of trained professionals in Iraq.
Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior says they have started to investigate the incidents and they announced the arrest of members of eight different gangs that they say were involved in the kidnap or murder of Baghdad medical professionals.