Iraq: Mosul wounded overwhelming Erbil hospitals

Health officials in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region have warned that hospitals in Erbil are stretched to breaking point after having received almost 8,000 wounded from Mosul over more than two months.

“An estimated 7,595 people have been rushed to Erbil hospitals within the past 65 days,” Kurdish outlet Rudaw reported Saman Barzanji, the head of Erbil municipality’s health department, as saying earlier today.

“Almost all hospitals are dedicated to receiving Mosul [wounded],” Barzanji added.

According to the health official, $632,000 had been spent by two Erbil hospitals alone in order to treat those wounded by the ongoing operation to recapture Mosul from Daesh, and that there was a shortage of medicine.

Barzanji blamed the central Iraqi government in Baghdad for not doing enough to assist the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

His words were echoed by KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani who said: “We are happy and proud to treat the wounded of Mosul but in fact Baghdad has to take responsibility…they should feel that it is their responsibility.”

According to Rudaw, Iraqi Deputy Health Minister Hazim Al-Jumaili admitted that both Baghdad and Erbil were dealing with a severe humanitarian crisis, and that “the Kurdistan Region has been affected by the crisis the most.”

This news comes as reports indicate that the operation to recapture Iraq’s second largest city that began on 17 October has made only slow and punishing progress. MEMO reported that Iraqi fatalities in the operation to dislodge Daesh from Mosul may have now reached 5,000 men.