Kurdistan Baghdad cuts medical supplies as wounded soldiers, IDPs treated in Kurdistan Region

Baghdad cuts medical supplies as wounded soldiers, IDPs treated in Kurdistan Region
Kurdistan and Iraq flags. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi Ministry of Health has cut the Kurdistan Region share of medical supplies despite the Region hospitals treating hundreds of displaced Iraqis and security forces.

In early March, Iraq's Health Minister Adila al-Aboudi asked Prime Minister to cut medical supplies from the Iraqi federal government to the Kurdistan Region, according to local media.

A Kurdish MP in the Iraqi Parliament said Baghdad has stopped sending Kurdistan Region’s constitutional share of medical supplies since early March, following the request of the Health Minister.

Faris Brifkani, Deputy Head of Health Committee in the Iraqi parliament told Kurdistan24 on Wednesday that the decision to cut Kurdistan Region share of medicine is political and Kurdish MPs will stand against it.

Brifkani revealed that the Kurdish MPs are trying to talk with PM Haider Abadi to appeal the decision of cutting medical supplies to the Region because this is not a decision that can be made by one person alone.

According to a report by the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) released in January 2017 “Kurdistan Region's hospitals are unable to provide sufficient care for the influx of injured Iraqi Security Forces and thousands of civilian IDP casualties.”

“The difficulty in caring for the influx is compounded by an ongoing financial crisis and the insufficient medical supplies sent by the federal government,” the report added.

Hundreds of the Iraqi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been taking refuge in the Kurdistan Region and receive free medical service, Brifkani added, stating that many wounded civilians and soldiers are being treated in the Region hospitals.

The host community will be affected by the Baghdad decision too, he added.

Bakhtiyar Shaways, a Kurdish MP speaking to Kurdistan24 said that the decision was made due to the decrease in the budget of Ministry of Health by the federal government, but he thinks the decision is temporary as Abadi has promised Kurdish parties to resolve the issue.

The Kurdistan Region, with a population of six million people, is home to over 1.8 million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).


Editing by Ava Homa