Iraqi ministry of health has hinted its plan to build new cancer hospital in the country, like in the city of Baghdad.
Ziyad Tariq, a ministry spokesperson, said that the hospital will be equipped with 300 beds and it will cost around 150 million USD. The hospital "will bolster our ability to treat patients suffering from various cancerous diseases, as well as carrying out preventive procedures and early detections before the disease intensifies", Tariq said.
Additionally, he said, it will "improve the competence of our national medical staff and advancing scientific studies and research on fighting these diseases".
General Health Directorate deputy general director Mohammed Jabur said to media, "The ministry focused on adopting major, effective steps to treat cancer cases, particularly the more common cancers, such as breast, cervical, lung, blood, lymphatic and prostate cancers."
"We opened at least one centre for the treatment of cancer in each province in the country, and these centers are today monitoring the cancer cases, whether in the areas of detection, diagnosis or the admission of patients into treatment programs in which the latest medical techniques are used," Jabur said.
There has not been an increase in the incidence of cancer in Iraq over previous years, he said, and its rate of occurrence is similar to the cancer rate in most countries. He also added that it is important to enhance and support preventive activities and diagnose cases early in order to reduce their severity and lower the death rate, especially amongst the Iraqi women.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle -- eating a balanced diet, increasing physical activity, avoiding smoking and reducing environmental pollution -- can curtail the risk of increased incidence of cancerous diseases, he said.
A Sigh of Relief for Iraqi Patients
MP Salih al-Hasnawi, who serves on the parliamentary committee on health, said the committee gave its support to building a hospital specialized in the treatment of cancerous diseases.
He said that significant number of cancer treatment centers have been opened throughout the country in recent years. He added, "We support this policy of building special hospitals dedicated to treating cancerous tumors; because this represents an important step towards offering the patients advanced treatment services at subsidized prices, in addition to sparing them the agony of traveling to foreign hospitals for treatment which entails considerable financial burdens."
The project will also help to upgrade the expertise and skills of Iraqi medical staff in detecting, diagnosing and treating various types of cancer, as well as developing research and specialized scientific studies on cancerous diseases, he said.
He also added that there is remarkable growth in the healthcare services within Iraq in recent time. Five radiation systems recently entered into service at the Baghdad Cancer Treatment Centre, which is part of the Medical City, he said, and further systems have been installed at cancer treatment centers in other Iraqi provinces.
He concluded that all these positive factors are showing that the Iraqi ministry is keen to make the cancer treatment services seamless within the country.