Health Information System 2011: Review and Assessment, July 2011

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Executive summary

Iraq has embarked upon improving and modernizing its healthcare delivery system. Under the administration of the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Iraq, there are 229 hospitals (general and specialized) including 61 teaching hospitals. The number of primary health centers, headed by medical doctors, is 1185 and the number of primary health centers, headed by mid‐level health workers, is 1146.

Although, the MOH is as the main health care provider in Iraq, there are currently 92 private hospitals and the private health care system is expanding rapidly, lately.

The MOH is also the main player in managing health information system in Iraq. Other stakeholders of HIS include the MOP/CSO and MOI. Despite the Health and Vital Statistics Sections (HVSS) being responsible for managing information at DOH level, usually they do not get information on all health events in their areas, especially from the private sector and some vertical programmes.

In the last few years, enormous investment has gone into health information systems in terms of both hardware and software, but in a fragmented manner. Due to lack of a clear vision, policy and strategy, the results of these efforts have not been so fruitful.

In October 2010, WHO convened a workshop in Amman, Jordan, inviting all the HIS stakeholders from various levels of the relevant ministries to conduct stakeholder analysis and to discuss ways how to strengthen HIS in Iraq. The October 2010 workshop’s agreement on conducting the Iraqi HIS assessment, using the Health Metrics Network (HMN) framework for assessment, as well as the subsequent training and preparatory workshops in Iraq, resulted in the 8‐10 March 2011 assessment workshop in Baghdad.

The assessment results, as summarized in the below table, put the NHIS in Iraq is in the Adequate (62%) range. This is interpreted as weak with most of the elements function poorly.