Raising awareness of healthcare issues in his home country of Iraq was the subject of a local doctor’s speech at the House of Lords.

Dr Laith Al-Rubaiy a gastroenterologist consultant from St Mark’s hospital in Harrow spoke at a meeting in collaboration with the AMAR charity on June 13.

He met with members from the Iraqi embassy, president of the Iraqi medical association UK, businessmen and 70 doctors to discuss ideas to improve the current state of healthcare in Iraq.

They centred their discussion around providing training and education, supporting health technology and helping people in Iraq to set up clinical service standards.

The Iraq state has historically gone through severe instability due to the outbreak of the war and fall of their Government leading to political uncertainty and a deterioration of the lives of Iraqi citizens.

For people living in remote areas in Iraq such as Basra and the Arab Marshes the quality of healthcare is low.

Dr Laith graduated from the University of Basra and believes in passing on his knowledge back to doctors to help people in his home country.

He said: “I always wanted to keep links between here, there is self-satisfaction of giving back to your own home country. It is kind of achieving more self-satisfaction, helping others and pay back to what I learnt here.”

From the meeting they discussed the awareness of cancer in Iraq especially for breast cancer screening and are hoping to adapt a similar approach to the UK about prevention such as sending out stool tests for colon cancer.

He added: “We are going to start one with one of the important conditions which is cancer, we’re trying to get guidelines out there for cancer screening.

“Iraq are good at breast screening cancer but there is no public awareness for the mammogram, and this is what we are going to work on.”

They also are working on adapting an approach like an NHS card for patients and an E-hospital for doctor to doctor advice on complex medical cases which will hopefully be adopted over the next few months.

But Dr Laith also believes the implementing of theses ideas will come with their own difficulties because of the lack of electronic systems in Iraq such as files and records including blood test results.

Dr Laith is hoping to hold another meeting in September to continue the discussion about implementing these ideas into Iraq.

He said: “All my proposed changes are based on me living in the UK. The good thing about the UK health care system is that its regulated by guidance, local and national.

“You do not have this sort of standardised care in Iraq, there are people from remote areas who don’t have the same quality or access to records.”

Dr Laith experienced first-hand the medical conditions in Iraq during charity missions through a mobile health clinic and meeting with doctors.

His recent visit in March saw to 100 patients including children and saw symptoms of chest infections and diarrhoea.

He said: “During my visit I met with local authorities and are working together to set up a national screening for bowel cancer, something similar to the UK by screening people above the age of 60.”

His next charity visit will be in October but now is focusing on the importance of raising the awareness of cancer and treatment in the country.