Health minister highlights Iran’s achievements at Global Conference on Primary Health Care

October 26, 2018

TEHRAN — The Iranian health minister put a spotlight on the country’s achievements in the health sector at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on October 25-26.

Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi pointed up Iran’s accomplishment in primary health care over the past 40 years, specifically during the 8-year Iran-Iraq war in 1980s, IRNA news agency reported on Thursday. 

He went on to explain that despite the hardships caused by the war some 20,000 healthcare centers were set up nationwide to provide everyone with healthcare services. 

The minister also mentioned healthcare reform plan, as a governmental scheme to increase healthcare coverage for everyone.

The healthcare reform plan, aiming at decreasing the out-of-pocket expenses for the patients, promoting natural birth, and supporting underprivileged patients suffering from rare or incurable diseases, was launched in the country in May 2014.

He underscored the importance of the healthcare reform plan as a way to deliver all the promises made by the government regarding healthcare services saying that “if it wasn’t for the healthcare reform plan we would have nothing to say at this conference.”

Qazizadeh Hashemi also met Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, on the sidelines of the event. 

He explained that by drawing on Russia’s experience in reducing death caused by strokes Iran has notched up success in this regard which is a good example of a successful cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.  

The Minster and his counterpart also stressed the improvement of pharmaceutical cooperation by exchanging knowledge and expertise as well as capacity-building to increase production.

Minister Skvortsova, for her part, explained that as per a decree issued by President of Russia Vladimir Putin on reducing medicine import to Russia since 2019, Iran can help Russia in empowering its pharmaceutical industry and vaccine production.

Iranian Minister was also scheduled to visit with his Kazakh and Indonesian counterparts and sign agreements in related fields. 

The Global Conference on Primary Health Care “From Alma-Ata toward Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals,” is held October 25-26 in Astana on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration.

Representatives of 140 WHO member states, international organizations and the world academic elite gathered in Astana. In total there are about 1,500 participants. The event was organized by the Government of Kazakhstan, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The main goal of the conference participants is to discuss the further development of primary health care, the adoption of the Astana Declaration on Primary Health Care.

The Declaration of Alma-Ata was adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC), Almaty (formerly known as Alma-Ata), Kazakhstan (formerly Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic), September 6 to 12, 1978. It expressed the need for urgent action by all governments, all health and development workers, and the world community to protect and promote the health of all people.

According to the World Health Organization at its heart, primary health care is about caring for people, rather than simply treating specific diseases or conditions. Primary health care is usually the first point of contact people have with the health care system. It provides comprehensive, accessible, community-based care that meets the health needs of individuals throughout their life.

MQ/MG

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