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Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what military assets, including personnel, in Iraq are being applied to provide medical treatment for Iraqi civilians; and for how long they will remain in place. [110760]

United Kingdom forces are required to provide, within their means and capabilities, medical treatment to Iraqi civilians. This ranges from emergency treatment conducted by any UK soldier, all of whom are trained in first aid, to more advanced emergency treatment at one of the four Regimental Aid Posts, to life saving surgery at the UK Field Hospital at Shaibah, southern Iraq. In addition, 1 Close Support Medical Regiment, consisting of approximately 250 personnel, is deployed across southern Iraq to provide an emergency first aid and ambulance capability.UK forces will provide medical treatment for as long as they remain in Iraq, although it is envisaged that reliance upon UK forces' medical capabilities will be reduced as Iraq's civilian medical infrastructure continues to improve.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what tonnage of unexploded ordnance used in the recent invasion of Iraq has been cleared up by UK-funded operations. [118024]

More than 87,000 items of unexploded ordnance and explosive ordnance and 79,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, mostly of Iraqi origin, were destroyed between the cessation of hostilities and 8 June 2003. We do not record the tonnage destroyed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the capacity of British medical assets in Iraq to deal with the needs of the Iraqi people. [119323]

The vast majority of injured Iraqis have been treated at Iraqi hospitals, and in the United Kingdom's area of operations we have made every effort to restore power, water and medical supplies to those facilities. All of the major hospitals in Baghdad and Basra are now functioning.However, where certain specialist skills have been required, Iraqis have been treated in UK medical facilities. In the very small number of cases where the necessary medical capabilities are not available in theatre, those Iraqis have been airlifted to UK hospitals for treatment. We will continue to provide medical treatment where possible for as long as UK forces remain in Iraq, although the requirement to do so will reduce over time as Iraq's civilian medical infrastructure continues to improve.