The GoI has increased its budget allocation to the Ministry of Health (MoH) from approximately $16M USD in 2002 to roughly $4B USD in 2009, suggesting a fundamental shift in the GoI’s priorities relative to healthcare. During his two years as Minister of Health, His Excellence Dr. Salih Al-Hasnawi has brought stability and direction to the ministry, instituting major reforms that hopefully will endure. The MoH has also declared a need for a greater number of skilled professionals, which highlight the demand for advanced education opportunities and access to medical resources.
The MoH is also making concerted efforts to encourage physicians who maintain private practices while also working for public practices to invest their time in government programs. The GOI and MoH have committed to a process of improving the healthcare throughout the country by increasing the salaries of health professionals.
Private practices comprise an estimated 80 hospitals, 33 of these situated in Baghdad, as well as tens of thousands of private clinics throughout the country. In addition to these, there are 208 state-owned hospitals that fall under the auspices of the MoH. Hospitals also exist exclusively for the care of military, police and senior Iraqi government officials.