The Rumaila medical team has successfully transitioned to become 100% staffed by qualified and certified Iraqi medical health practitioners.

Rumaila has five healthcare facilities across the field at North Rumaila, the Rumaila Supply Base, Headquarters, South Rumaila and Qarmat Ali. In 2010, when ROO first began operating, there was only a small team of three expats. By 2013, the team had expanded to 20 – with 10 expats and 10 supporting Iraqi medical professionals; today, the team now has a total of 10 Iraqi medical professionals supported by two 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 therefore undergone extensive training over the past five years. Alongside close mentoring on a day-to day basis with the expat medical, 11 Iraqi medical team members successfully completed training in South Africa between 2013-2015. Health Manager Wendy Parker explained: “Not only did our Iraqi colleagues gain international certificates; they ranked very highly in their respective 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.

“Speaking personally, I’ve been here for six years and looking back I think we’ve achieved a tremendous amount. We’ve gone from having very limited primary care resource with no tangible medical emergency response to an international-class occupational health service incorporating medical emergency response, primary health care, fitness for work programmes and wellness programme, all aimed at helping personnel stay healthy.  As I move on from Rumaila, I’ll miss the team; however, we have achieved our goal and it does feel the time is now right for me to move on.”