War brings medical system to 'brink of collapse'
Published 17/09/2013 | 05:00
Syria's medical infrastructure is on the "brink of collapse", with more than half of the country's hospitals already destroyed or damaged in the civil war, a group of 50 leading health care experts has warned.
They urged all combatants to spare hospitals and to allow doctors and nurses to operate freely without fear of attack and reprisals.
"Systematic assaults on medical professionals, facilities and patients are breaking Syria's healthcare system and making it nearly impossible for civilians to receive essential medical services," they said in an open letter in 'The Lancet' medical journal.
The group included a former head of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the chiefs of major aid agencies and three Nobel Prize winners.
In less than three years of civil war, 37pc of Syrian hospitals have been destroyed, and a further 20pc of them severely damaged, WHO figures have revealed. (© Daily Telegraph, London)