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Published: 2021-05-20

Evaluation of health system in Iraq from people's point of view: a comparative study of two different eras

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Bezmialem Vakif University, Istanbul, Turkey
Internal Medical Department, Faculty of Medicine, Diyala University, Iraq
Medical Biology and Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, Diyala University, Iraq
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Anbar University, Anbar, Iraq
Faculty of Computer Engineering, Altinbas University, Istanbul, Turkey
Health System, Reform, Point of View, People, Tow Decades, Invasion, Iraq


Background: Since the 2003 United States–British coalition military invasion, Iraq has been in a state of continuous deterioration at all levels, including the health sector. This study aimed to elicit the viewpoints of the Iraqi people on the current health system, focusing on many provided health services and assessing whether the public prefers the current health system or that was provided before the invasion.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey designed to explore the Iraqi people’s opinions on their health system. A self-administered questionnaire using a multi-stage sampling technique was distributed in five geographical regions in Iraq to collect the data from the head of household between 1st October and 31st of December 2019. Multiple logistic regressions were recruited to determine the significant contributing variables in this study.

Results: A total of 365 heads of households (response rate: 86.1%) with the mean age of 48.36 + 11.92 years (ranged 35-78) included in the study. Most of the respondents (61.4%) complained of healthcare inaccessibility, 59.7% believed that health resources were not available, 53.7% claimed a deterioration in the quality of care, and 62.2% believed that the political / media position did not contribute to positive changes during the past two decades. Indeed, most respondents (66.0%) believe that the current healthcare system is worse than before. In the multivariate analysis, there was a statistically significant relationship between the characteristics and opinions of the respondents. Old age group (p = 0.003), men (p = < 0.001), married (p = 0.001), low educated (p = < 0.001), rural resident (p = < 0.001), unemployed (p = 0.003), monthly income of less than USD 400 (p = < 0.001), consider themselves to be unhealthy (p = 0.001),  and those who think that people are unhappy now than two decades ago (p = 0.012) have a more negative opinion of the health system.

Conclusion: Most Iraqis surveyed expressed disappointment from the health system after the 2003 United States–British Coalition military invasion. The current health system is faltering at all levels and does not meet the citizens' basic needs. Health Transformation Program (HTP) has become inevitable to develop an accessible, affordable, high-quality, efficient, and effective health system.


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How to Cite

Ali Jadoo SA, Alhusseiny AH, Yaseen SM, Al-Samarrai MAM, Mahmood AS. Evaluation of health system in Iraq from people’s point of view: a comparative study of two different eras. jidhealth [Internet]. 2021 May 20 [cited 2024 May 27];4(2):380-8. Available from: