Iraqi hospitals remain short of staff and are ill equipped to cope with large numbers of casualties.
“It is shocking to see how Iraqis today lack the most essential needs in terms of health services,” said Pascal Olle, the International Committee of the Red Cross's health programme coordinator for Iraq. “Many patients that reach hospitals could and should be saved. However, emergency rooms and operating theatres are often not able to cope with the number of casualties,” he added.
Attacks in Iraq have fallen 60% since last June, US and Iraqi officials say. The Red Cross's spokeswoman Dorothea Krimitsas said that although security had improved in some areas it remained poor or had deteriorated in others (www.reuters.com).