Friday, January 23, 2009


Ministry of Defense Opens Military Hospital & Prosthetics Clinic for Wounded Warriors

Thursday, 22 January 2009 Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq Public Affairs

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MoD) took a giant leap forward in improving health care for its wounded warriors with the grand opening of the Military Hospital and Prosthetics Clinic in Muthana, Jan. 19.

The new hospital contains 50 ward beds, an ER/trauma bay in the core building, five ICU beds, three operating rooms, and laboratory, pharmacy and x-ray services in attached trailers.

The hospital staff numbers 130, consisting of four physicians, one dentist, 85 other health professionals and 40 medical administrative support personnel. The facility is equipped to provide care for medical conditions requiring hospitalization, emergency care, initial wound surgery, and post-operative treatment.

Before 2003, there were 31 hospitals, 3,000 physicians and 10,000 other health professionals in the Iraqi military. Since that time, all military hospitals either converted to civilian Ministry of Health facilities or were closed. Many physicians fled the country during the early stages of the war, but roughly only half have returned.

“While the Iraqi military still suffers from a shortage of physicians, today’s hospital opening is one large step forward for restoring the capability of the Iraqi military medical directorate,” said U.S. Army Col. Stephen Salerno, Director of Health Affairs, Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq. “This step will build confidence in the Iraqi Soldier that the military will take care of its own.”

Health Affairs is the Advisory team to the MoD Surgeon General’s Office for manning, training, equipping and facility development for the Iraqi Joint Forces medical department. Health Affairs staff members invested countless hours over the last 12 months to help prepare the Muthana Military Hospital staff for the task at hand: to open and operate the first military hospital in a new Iraq.

“Without the efforts of a determined MNSTC-I J-7 engineering team, and savvy contracting by the experts at Joint Contracting Command - Iraq, this day would not have been possible,” noted U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jeff Plummer, Health Affairs Deputy Director. “The Coalition has funded and built dozens of outpatient clinics and medical warehouses across Iraq. The Muthana Military Hospital, however, was built with Iraqi funds through the Foreign Military Sales Program. We are proud of the team effort between the MoD and MNSTC-I to complete the project and look forward to future partnerships in health care.”

The prosthetics clinic, officially named the Artificial Limb and Physical Therapy Center, is able to perform virtual casting through laser-image technology, one of the only facilities in the Middle East with this capability and the first of its kind in Iraq.

Senior leaders attending the grand opening included Iraqi Minister of Defense Abd Al-Qadir, Gen. Babakir, chief of staff – Iraqi Joint Forces, Staff Lt. Gen. Hussain, deputy chief of staff – Training, Maj. Gen. Samir, Iraqi surgeon general, and Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, commander, MNSTC-I and NATO Training Mission - Iraq
(MNF here)

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