Iraq health minister resigns over hospital fire that killed 80 people

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

Iraq’s Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi resigned on Tuesday over a fire from an exploding oxygen tank at a Baghdad COVID-19 hospital last month that killed more than 80 people, the government said in a statement.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.


Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s cabinet also ordered the dismissal of the director of the Ibn Khatib hospital and other senior hospital officials. The entire hospital had been converted to treat COVID-19 patients.

The April 24 blaze highlighted the neglect of a healthcare system that was once one of the best in the Middle East, but has been wrecked by conflict, international sanctions, the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and rampant state-wide corruption since then.

Tamimi had been suspended immediately after the fire. The government lifted his suspension on Tuesday but he immediately resigned.

The government has ordered hospitals across the country to review and implement better health and safety procedures.

The incident further eroded Iraqis’ trust in their healthcare system. During the coronavirus pandemic, that lack of trust has meant many do not seek medical help when infected with COVID-19, and have decided not to be vaccinated at state-run medical centers.

Read more:

Two rockets land at Iraq’s Ain al-Asad air base hosting US forces: Iraqi military

Enraged relatives say neglect caused deadly Baghdad hospital fire

82 killed in Baghdad COVID-19 hospital fire: Iraqi interior ministry

Top Content Trending