Photo Information

Hit General Hospital’s director, Dr. Yaseen Hammody Assaf (left) leads members of the hospital assessment team from RCT-8 and Multi-National Forces West on tour of the hospital. Although Hit General does not have all the tools and equipment its workers need, the hospital staff is still working hard to offer adequate care to its patients.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Alan Addison

Servicemembers help improve healthcare at Hit General

27 Feb 2009 | Lance Cpl. Alan Addison

With the increasing security throughout Iraq, U.S. servicemembers now have the opportunity to offer support in other areas within Iraqi society.  Navy corpsmen and Army medics recently visited Hit General Hospital in to conduct an assessment on the hospital Feb. 18.

“The hospital assessment went better than we expected,” said Navy Lt. Tyler Ensley, a physician with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines.   “Their infrastructure limits them, but they have a great amount of expertise; they’re meticulous and display a high level of passion for their people.”

While at the hospital, Dr. Yaseen Hammody Assaf, Hit General Hospital director, led servicemembers throughout the different sections of the hospital.  Sailors and soldiers received the opportunity to assess in-patient and out-patient care facilities, operating rooms and the pharmacy.

“Conducting assessments, such as these, gives us an opportunity to look at the level of patient care at the hospital,” said Lt. Cmdr Richard Lynch, medical officer for Regimental Combat Team 8.

Other than simply assessing current hospital operations, military physicians are also able to see what types of patients are able to receive care at the hospital.  Physicians also check to see whether a patient in need of specific care can be transferred to a facility that can accurately meet their needs.

“After our visit, I feel confident turning a patient over to the care of Hit General,” said Army Maj. Mark Miller, a physician with the 354th Combat Support Hospital.  “We know they’ll receive accurate treatment and we have the ability to know when and where we can transfer patients.”

Not only does this event allow U.S. forces to work directly with Iraqi people and their medical personnel, but it also proves the Iraqi people are creating a more stable and independent society.

“The people of Hit are willing to work together to rebuild their society and provide their people with a better level of healthcare,” said Sam Said, who serves as the liaison to military physicians for the Hit district.  “After a successful assessment such as this, we will be able to further assist the Iraqi people and keep them moving in a positive direction.”  Overall, Said added that on a scale of one-to-ten, the assessment was about an eight.

Assisting Hit General does not conclude with the assessment.  The real work starts once the assessment is over.

“Now that we’ve been able to see the hospital, we all sit down, compile our suggestions and thoughts, and pass them on to the liaison officer,” Lynch said.   “Once the liaison officer has our suggestions, he can work with the embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team and get the hospital the tools they need.”

Helping the people of Iraq move toward a stable, independent society is the main focal point of servicemembers deployed throughout the area.  Conducting operations, such as hospital assessments, not only helps the Iraqi people improve their healthcare system, is also helps them move closer to attaining a higher level of independence.

For more information on the ongoing mission in Iraq’s Al Anbar province, visit