Recognizing the need for updating the infrastructure and operation of Iraq’s healthcare system, leaves the country seeking alternative methods of financing needed upgrades. Corporatizing (Privatizing) hospitals, pharmaceutical, and medical device manufacturers open the door for foreign investors. Iraq’s healthcare costs are expected to rise to at least $10 billion per year by 2014. Opportunities for investment are outlined in the market research report 2013 Iraq Healthcare Sector Outlook.
This is a tremendous step in the right direction for Iraq’s post-war recovery and will complement the capacity building plan recently implement by the World Health Organization and the European Union. In addition to helping Iraq improve its healthcare system, privatization of the healthcare industry will help minimize Iraq’s debt load. Corporatizing hospitals and medical manufacturers will create a sustainable healthcare system for Iraq. Let us not forget the role new competitive forces will play for KIMADIA (State Company for Drugs and Medical Appliances) and SAMARRA (State Company for Drugs, Industry and Medical Supplies) – improving quality, access and prices.
With a combined burden of infectious and chronic disease, Iraq’s life expectancy is 59-years. Cardiovascular diseases and stroke are two of the top three causes of mortality in Iraq, with maternal mortality at number six. Malnutrition remains a concern with 9.1% of the age group 0-59 months considered malnourished. The innovative restructuring and alternative financing for improving Iraq’s healthcare system can help alleviate unnecessary deaths from preventable and treatable diseases and malnutrition. Perhaps foreign aid can be diverted to feeding Iraq’s hungry?