According to the medical journal the Lancet, more than 2000 doctors have been killed in Iraq since 2003. Ever-present violence in the country affects everyone, but when patients die while under medical care, doctors face the added dangers of kidnapping, robbery and revenge killings at the hands of bereaved families.
The Iraqi government’s fight against the Islamic State has diverted resources from the Ministry of Health to the war effort, and doctors say the country’s medical facilities are inadequate for its growing population. The situation is prompting medical professionals to leave Iraq, making things even worse.
VICE News spoke with doctors at two Baghdad hospitals about the challenges they face, and about promises from the US to rebuild Iraq’s health system.