Following years of frustration over public healthcare underfunding in Ramadi, the Ministry of Health has commissioned a 30 billion Iraqi Dinar (IQD) project to rehabilitate the city's main hospital.
The local and central government are making an effort to reconstruct the main public hospital in the city of Ramadi, after it was liberated from ISIS control in Feburary 2016.
During ISIS’ control over the city of Ramadi, which is the capital of Anbar Province, the militant group destroyed the hospital and looted the equipment and medications.
Following Ramadi’s liberation, the University of Anbar estimated that the hospital alone would require at least $10 million to be completely renovated. Due to the continued war effort and other expenditures, the hospital was left untouched. Furthermore, the debate that arose within the local government regarding whether a new hospital should be rebuilt or the current one rehabilitated delayed the process.
However, due to the increased suffering of the residents of Ramadi, the Central Government recently allocated money to finally rehabilitate and re-equip the hospital finally.
“It is the only option to end the suffering of the citizens in the city of Ramadi – there is no other [public] hospital in the city,” said an official from Ramadi. “The federal government allocated 30 billion dinars to the project.”
While citizens were happy that this project has finally been launched, they expressed their annoyance at the delay in reconstruction and the high prices that they are charged in private hospitals.
“It is so difficult for the poor to get treatment,” said a resident of Ramadi. “Since our return four years ago, there has been no progress in health services.”
While many rehabilitation projects have taken place in the city of Ramadi since its liberation from the militant group, the amount of damage that has been afflicted on the city has made full rehabilitation nearly impossible. According to some estimates, 80% of the city was destroyed, requiring about $10 billion dollars for complete rehabilitation.
Due to the lack of funds and the existence of ISIS sleeper cells in Anbar Province that continue to threaten citizens, efforts to speed up the rehabilitation process have been hindered.
Nonetheless, the launch of this project is a glimmer of hope to the citizens that have been awaiting affordable healthcare in the Ramadi.