NHS help to treat Iraqi burn victims

BROOMFIELD Hospital in Chelmsford is set to treat receive Iraqi burns victims. Civilians from the war-torn country are to receive treatment at a handful of British hospitals at a cost of £20 million, the Department of Health said yesterday.

BROOMFIELD Hospital in Chelmsford is set to treat receive Iraqi burns victims.

Civilians from the war-torn country are to receive treatment at a handful of British hospitals at a cost of £20 million, the Department of Health said yesterday.

The Government has also given the cash to specialist NHS units at Wythenshawe hospital, Manchester, the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.

Iraqi civilians have already received treatment in the UK with one woman presently recovering at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.


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The extra funding over two years is to stop extra pressure at the three units which could have meant local people being turned away.

The British Government also needs to honour its Geneva Convention responsibilities for civilians under its control in southern Iraq.

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The convention says any occupying force has to ensure civilians get any medical treatment they need.

The money will provide three extra beds at the specialist burns centre at Broomfield Hospital and additional staffing care.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the Iraqi patients would be flown to the UK if they cannot be treated locally and are fit to travel.

"These beds are not ring fenced and can be used by NHS patients because we are not talking about hundreds of Iraqi patients.

"But they have been funded to avoid any situation where beds were taken at the expense of local NHS patients."

The spokeswoman added that families of the Iraqis requiring treatment would accompany them to Britain. She said that no Iraqis who have come to Britain have so far asked for asylum.

The Government has also given the cash to specialist NHS units at Wythenshawe hospital in Manchester, the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Last night a spokeswoman for Broomfield Hospital said the money would fund three extra beds and additional staff at the St Andrews Centre, which specialises in burns treatment.

She said NHS patients would be able to use the beds when not required by victims of the war and there would be sufficient warning when an Iraqi comes over so no NHS patients would have to lose a bed.

Last month, the hospital cared for miracle escape boy Mohammed el Fateh Osman from Sudan who survived a plane crash which killed all 116 other passengers.

The two-year-old was accompanied by his father and flown to London by air ambulance to receive treatment for multiple injuries.

He had lost part of his lower right leg and suffered an estimated 15% burns in the crash and lost his mother when the Boeing 737 crashed after taking off from Port Sudan Airport.

He has since been moved from Broomfield as he makes steps towards recovery.

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