Wednesday, November 17, 2004


The public services that people care about

Just picked up the following excerpt from an Iraq round-up on the BBC monitoring service that, again for subscription reasons, I can't link. Won't be in tonight to see whether this makes the news and have nothing against which to judge Al-Jazeera's veracity.

"Al-Fallujah health care "nonexistent" - hospital chief: The acting director of Al-Fallujah General Hospital, Dr Salih al-Isawi, said that health services in Al-Fallujah have been "totally nonexistent for more than 10 days". In an interview with Qatari Al-Jazeera on 16 November, he appealed the Health Ministry to put pressure on the government and the US Army to allow ambulances, doctors and rescue teams into the city. He said his staff was not allowed to leave the main Al-Fallujah Hospital outside the city, while the a small hospital they opened inside the city was completely destroyed on the second day of the military operations. He said he expected the bodies to decompose and illnesses spread and that the catastrophe in Al-Fallujah would be "more serious than what happened in Hiroshima or Nagasaki". (Al-Jazeera TV 1303 gmt 16 Nov 04)"

However, Radio 4’s “Today” programme did find time this morning to interview Dr. Ala Alwan, the interim Iraqi health minister. There’s no transcript of this up anywhere, but, from memory, I don’t think his assessment was similar to Dr Salih al-Isawi's.

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