0809 GMT January 29, 2020
Congratulating the Iranian government on the implementation of the Health Insurance Plan nationwide, Marie-Paule Kieny added that the international community has always praised Iran's health achievements.
"In recent years, the Iranian government has used the health sector's resources to provide insurance coverage to vulnerable people," she said.
Kieny recalled that the rural health insurance plan was implemented in Iran in 2005, which covered people living in villages and cities with a population of less than 20,000.
"Similar activities undertaken in the country have targeted 10 to 17 percent of the total population," she said.
She stressed that extensive measures have been taken to improve health care services nationwide.
Kieny said all strata of people should receive treatment with no concern about cost and this is the core of public health system acknowledged by the WHO members in its general assembly sessions.
"WHO is committed to support countries that try to provide people with public insurance coverage," he said.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday providing equal opportunities to the people is part of social justice, which includes full insurance coverage.
Speaking in a ceremony to unveil the Health Insurance Plan, Rouhani said all Iranians will benefit from health insurance.
The president said unemployment and ill-health are major social problems, but the latter is even worse because “when you are unemployed but healthy, you can stand on your own feet with some help from the government and others, but when you are ill, you have to endure unbearable sufferings”.
Rouhani noted that when he took office in 2013, around nine million Iranians did not have health insurance cards, but so far eight million of them have received their cards.