Iraqi health minister resigns over deadly Baghdad hospital fire

author_image Hiwa Shilani
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (left) and Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi, May 4, 2021. (Photo: PM's Media Office)
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (left) and Minister of Health Hassan al-Tamimi, May 4, 2021. (Photo: PM's Media Office)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi submitted his resignation on Tuesday following the release of reports by an investigative committee formed to undercover the causes of a deadly Baghdad hospital fire last week.

More than 80 people were killed and roughly 100 more injured on April 25 after a massive fire broke out at the facility temporarily, dedicated to treating coronavirus patients, after an oxygen cylinder exploded.

Read More: Iraqi rights commission calls for accountability in deadly Baghdad hospital fire

After a preliminary investigation was completed the following day, the committee said it had concluded that storage procedures were inadequate and that the casualties were made far worse because the building’s corridors were overcrowded with family members visiting patients.

Tuesday's report concluded that the Minister of Health and the Director of the Rusafa Health Department should be sacked for "failing to perform their duties."

In light of this, the Minister of Health submitted his resignation to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

According to a government statement, "Prime Minister al-Kadhimi, approved today, Tuesday, the resignation request submitted by the Minister of Health and Environment Mr. Hassan al-Tamimi, after the issuance of the report by the investigation committee formed against the background of the Ibn Al-Khatib hospital incident."

The Iraqi Council of Ministers voted in a session held today on the committee's recommendations, which included imposing several disciplinary penalties, including demoting the director of the hospital and firing his administrative assistant and a civil defense official.

Editing by John J. Catherine