Administration sees healthcare as ‘essential principle’: Rouhani

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TEHRAN — The administration regards the issue of healthcare as an essential principle and it is a priority to not let people get sick, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, IRIB reported.

Rouhani made the remarks in the Festival of Health Facilities Construction in Tehran.

“Firstly we are planning on decreasing the number of people suffering from diseases, which is our first step that is of utmost importance as it is closely related to people’s soul and body,” the president noted.

“In health sector we ought to strive for people’s health as it is a fundamental principle to maintain one’s health; people are born healthy and must live a healthy life,” he added.

The president further commented on the healthcare reform plan which kicked off in 2014, saying, despite all setbacks and funding shortfalls the administration kept on carrying out the healthcare reform plan.

“We will continue to execute this plan,” he highlighted, adding “although we lack adequate resources so we have to look for ways to prevent diseases or the easiest and cheapest treatment to minimize the expenses.”

“We don’t know if it is possible or not but we do our best to cut the expenses [within the framework of the healthcare reform plan],” he said, stating, “we have to let the expert decide whether it is possible or not.”

We need to encourage philanthropist and charity societies to be more active in health sector, Rouhani suggested.

80% of people satisfied with health services

Health Minister, Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi, for his part, noted that some 80 percent of people, especially those underprivileged, are satisfied with the healthcare reform plan.

In order to decrease the out-of-pocket expenses the administration has spent some 50 trillion rials (nearly $1.25 billion), minister Hashemi highlighted.

Expansion of healthcare insurance coverage to all took place after 20 years in the past administration and helped lessen the pain some are experiencing, he said.

He went on to say that the maternal mortality rate dropped from 25 per 100,000 live births to 18.5 per 100,000 live births within the framework of the healthcare reform plan which is unprecedented.

The healthcare reform plan kicked off on May 4, 2014 with the main goals of decreasing the out-of-pocket expenses for the patients, promoting natural birth, and supporting underprivileged patients suffering from rare or incurable diseases.

One of the most important changes occurred within the framework of the healthcare reform plan was the reduction of out-of-pocket expenses for those living in rural areas to less than 3 percent and their insurance coverage free of charge.

Some 11 million people living in underprivileged areas are now under the coverage of health insurance services.

MQ/MG

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