Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Health Care in Basra, Iraq

I just read this in an article about violence in Iraq:

In Basra, Dr. Khalid Nasir al-Mayah, one of only two psychiatrists left in the region, was shot and killed by gunmen at Basra al-Sadr Hospital. Since 2003, Basra's medical professionals have been in peril: 5 doctors have been assassinated, 12 have been kidnapped, 16 have left the area and 23 have fled Iraq.

Now the region has one psychiatrist left. Given the toll PTSD takes on people, that is not good news for the people of Basra or nearby regions (though most of them probably couldn't afford mental health care anyway). But what is the reason behind all this killing of medical professionals? Is there a reason other than the desire to get money by kidnapping them?