Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"I was on the ground here exactly five years ago. I actually got here in April of 2003 to Baghdad when the major hospital that we used

for coalition forces as well as life, limb and eyesight care for for Iraqi military was kind of a hull and a husk of what it is now. Windows were all broken out, a lot of dirt on the floor; it had pretty well been cleaned out and looted of all the necessary pieces and parts to include wiring and light fixtures, everything," U.S. Army Col. John Powell, director of health affairs for Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq, said during a DoD Bloggers Roundtable on Aug. 26. "It's now an up-and- coming hospital."

Col. Powell discussed Iraq’s progress over the past five years providing medical care for its military and police forces during the roundtable. The Iraqis have a clear direction for their military health system, said Powell, who works closely with the embattled nation’s surgeon general. However, he said, they still have a tremendous challenge finding qualified individuals to staff the system, with only 160 of 800 available physician positions filled.

Joining us on the call were Chuck Simmons, North Shore Journal; Jarred Fishman, Air Force Pundit; and Grim,

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