News ID: 89156
Published: 1011 GMT January 09, 2015

Gov’t expands health insurance coverage

Gov’t expands health insurance coverage

According to the Fifth National Development Plan (2010-15), no one must be without health insurance in Iran, said Pahbod Pourshabanan, Health Insurance Organization’s deputy head for human and resource development.

Pourshabanan announced that 41 million Iranians are covered by Bimeh Salamat (health insurance).

This type of insurance covers all those who lack any other type of health insurance, such as women householders, the unemployed, poor and disabled people.

Workers and those employed in armed forces, as well as their families, are covered by health insurance provided by the Social Security Organization and Iran Health Treatment Services Organization respectively.

"Health insurance will be extended to cover more people in the near future, as all citizens should have equal access to health care," he said.

Pourshabanan noted that more than 80 percent of drugs prescribed for hard-to-treat diseases and cancers as well as some of the drugs used for infertility treatment are covered by health insurance.

Deputy Health Minister Mohammad Haji Aqajani said patients pay only 8 percent of the total costs for hospital inpatient care following the implementation of Health Overhaul Plan.

"Patients paid 37 percent of the total cost of hospital admission previously," he said.

More than 3.5 million have been admitted to hospitals across the nation and benefited from inexpensive services since the launch of the plan.

"About 73 are relatively satisfied with the plan," he said, adding that the cost of medical tools and equipments has declined by 42 percent, all of which are now available in hospitals.

Aqajani noted that 585 outpatient clinics and more than 9,500 general physicians are working round-the-clock to offer health care services.

"More than 3,000 patients make appointments with physicians at these clinics every month and only pay $1 for health care services,” he said.

“About 430 physicians are active in 293 less advantaged cities, most of whom have expressed readiness to stay in these areas for longer periods.”

The implementation of Health Overhaul Plan has led to a rise in natural deliveries, with 241,000 women giving birth naturally during April-Sept. 2014.

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