Healthcare in Iran: An overview for those planning to travel to Iran
Healthcare in Iran
Iran, a country with 81 million inhabitants, is one of the populous countries of the Middle East. Over the past four decades, Iran has made remarkable progress in various areas of the country's development. Specifically, health indicators in Iran doubled the global average. In this article, we want to look at the healthcare situation in Iran, review some of the statistics in this area and give a general picture for those who are planning to travel to Iran and access to healthcare services.
First, you need to know that the healthcare system in Iran is divided into three parts: public system, the private sector and nongovernmental organizations (charities, NGOs, etc.). The largest number of hospitals and medical centers in Iran are public, private hospitals are fewer, and nongovernmental organizations have a very small share. All of these sections are under the supervision of Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education.
Access to primary health services in Iran
One of the health indicators is people's access to safe drinking water and sanitation. But the provision of clean water and the easy access of people to it is always one of the serious crises of the countries. In Iran, 90% of people have access to drinkable water. According to global statistics, the public access to drinkable water in a country like Mexico is 85 percent, or 77 percent in China, 72 percent in Russia, 61 percent in Indonesia, 40 percent in India, and South Sudan 7 percent.
Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) is another important indicator of health. With the expansion of the healthcare network in Iran and the establishment of more than 18,000 health houses, the most deprived rural areas are also covered by primary healthcare services. The public's access to this service, prevention, vaccination, and mother-child care has much reduced the number of deaths at birth in Iran.
Hospitals in Iran
In Iran, there are 981 active hospitals with more than 130,000 beds. The quality of services and facilities of private hospitals in Iran toward public hospitals is higher due to private sector investment and have more funds. Of course, the facilities of Iranian public hospitals are acceptable and have standards required too. Because of government subsidies to patients, the cost of health care in public hospitals in Iran is cheaper than the private hospitals. But it should be noted that the number of clients to public hospitals in Iran is higher than private hospitals, which increases the waiting time for services.
In Iran, medical centers must be licensed by the International Patient Department from the Ministry of Health for the provision of services to foreign patients. So far, more than 200 hospitals have obtained this license and this number is increasing due to the growth of the medical tourism industry in Iran. Hospitals with this license are among the first-class hospitals in Iran and offer services with global standards.
A look at the medical community in Iran
Iranians have been well versed in medicine since many centuries ago. In the present era, Iranian physicians are internationally renowned. Such as Professor Tawfiq Mussouwand (the inventor of the first artificial heart inside the human body), Professor Majid Samii (the most famous Iranian neurosurgeon), Professor Ali Asghar khoda doost (the most prominent Iranian ophthalmologist surgeon), etc.
The development of modern medicine in Iran is based on the efforts of specialized human resources. Iran has 60 universities and faculties of medicine, which has the role of training medical experts. Approximately 180,000 medical students are studying at these universities and a portion of this is added to the Iranian health care network each year. Currently, 10,000 Iranian doctors in the United States are studying and undergoing specialized medical courses. The number of Iranian doctors currently practicing in Iran is more than 117,000. By relying on these specialist physicians, Iran has gained a good place in medical science and has become one of the leading countries in medical research, technology, and education. In some branches of medicine, such as stem cells, infertility treatment, organ transplantation, etc., there are many things to say at the international level.
Organ transplants in Iran
The first organ transplant surgery in Iran was cornea transplant, which was done in 1935 by the late Dr. Shams, the founder of modern ophthalmology in Iran. Gradually, Iranian physicians having acquired the necessary knowledge and skills, successfully transplanted other organs of the body. Now, lung transplantation, kidney transplantation, bone marrow transplantation, heart transplantation, liver transplantation, intestinal transplantation, pancreatic transplantation, etc., are being carried out in Iran, and there are many specialized centers just for organ transplantation in Iran.
Iran is excelling in organ transplants in the region and also in the world. In terms of the number of organ transplants in the region, Iran has the first rank. Medical progress in Iran has made organ transplantation as a normal operation, while many developed countries in the world face serious challenges in reducing the cost of treatment for patients and creating professional organ transplant teams.
In Iran, 2,500 kidney transplants are performed annually, which is unmatched in the world. The transplant is performed for the patient who needs in less than a year, and there is no long waiting list. But in the United States, despite the advanced equipment, patients need to wait for at least 4 years, many of whom will lose their lives during this period. There are statistics in the United States in 2016, seven thousand patients who needed kidney transplant lost their lives before being transplanted.
The pharmaceutical industry in Iran
According to the statistics of Iran's Ministry of Health, 97% of its drugs are produced inside Iran. The production of biotechnology drugs with advanced and up-to-date technology, to the extent of self-sufficiency and to meet the domestic needs of the country and even export to other countries. Iranian pharmacists have achieved the technology of producing important drugs such as factor VIII, which is essential for hemophilia patients. In the world, only four countries have the ability to produce factor VIII drugs; Iran is one of these four countries.
Herceptin drug for the treatment of breast cancer, FSH drug for the treatment of infertility, hormone Leuprolide is used to treat prostate and lung cancer and many other drugs produced in Iran. Drug prices in Iran are as cheap as other medical services.
In this article, we have a quick look at the health situation in Iran. We are trying to discuss more topics in the next articles and review the content with more details.
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