The Rumaila medical team has successfully transitioned from being a team of expatriate medics to become a team staffed by qualified and certified Iraqi medical health practitioners.
In six years, the operation has gone from having very limited primary care resource with no tangible medical emergency response, to an international-class occupational health service with five healthcare facilities across the field. The service includes medical emergency response, primary health care, fitness for work programmes and wellness programme, all aimed at helping personnel stay healthy.
In 2010, when ROO first began operating, there was only a small team of three expatriate staff. By 2013, the team had expanded to 20 – with ten expats and ten supporting Iraqi medical professionals; today, the team now has a total of ten Iraqi medical professionals supported by 2 expats.
The Nationalization Plan was rolled out in early 2012, with the stated five-year goal to: “progressively nationalize the ROO Medical Team to a point where it is staffed, operated and managed by an Iraqi workforce.” This plan detailed a succession schedule for the health team by 2017, as well as the training needs required for Iraqi nationals – to reach a level suitable to manage the medical facilities to internationally recognized medical standards.
Iraqi medical professionals have undergone extensive training over the past five years.
Iraqi medical professionals have therefore undergone extensive training over the past five years. Alongside close mentoring on a day-to-day basis with the expatriate medic, 11 Iraqi medical team members successfully completed training in South Africa between 2013 – 2015. The Rumaila Health Manager said: “Not only did our Iraqi colleagues gain international certificates; they ranked very highly in their perspective classes in a medical programme which teaches practitioners from all over the world! We are all really proud of what they have achieved and the journey that they have experienced.