Next year’s health budget set at $8.3b

December 15, 2018 - 20:39

TEHRAN- According to the budget bill proposed for the next fiscal year (starting March 21), 350 trillion rials (about $8.3 billion) will be allocated to the health sector, announced Health Ministry Spokesperson Iraj Harirchi.  

Out of the proposed budget, he said, $5.2 billion is assigned to the universities of medical sciences which have 460,000 employees, IRIB reported on December 11.
“The remaining resources are set to support healthcare reform plan, family doctor scheme and population policies as well as measures to lower medicine prices and prevent exchange rate fluctuations’ impact on prices,” Harirchi added.

Health Ministry’s budget will have the same rise as other ministries and any added allocations will be spent on the employee’s wages as the salaries of government employees are supposed to increase by 20% next year.”“Unfortunately, Salamat health insurance organization has been facing serious budget deficit over the last 20 years and we occasionally had to draw on foreign exchange reserves to address the shortage, so our proposal for the next year is that the legal budget of Salamat health insurance organization will be completely allocated to them, solving the organization’s long-lasting issue once and for all,” Harirchi remarked.

“This is particularly important because with current inflation, Salamat health insurance organization and Social Security Organization as well as other insurers should play a vital role in meeting peoples’ needs, removing some of the financial pressure they are dealing with,” he further noticed. 

“Health Ministry’s budget will have the same rise as other ministries and any added allocations will be spent on the employee’s wages as the salaries of government employees are supposed to increase by 20% next year,” he said.

“We have also came up with two strategies to cover the costs of healthcare reform plan; one is the lawful increase in budget allocated to this plan and the other is to optimize our usage of current resources with better management,” Harirchi added.

“Even though we have been dealing with budget shortage in implementing healthcare reform plan over the years, we haven’t made any substantial changes in the quality of health packages and we hope with the help of the government and the Majlis [Iranian parliament] we don’t have to do it in the next year either,” the Health Ministry’s official concluded.

Last week, Harirchi said healthcare inflation rate was 19% at the first half of current Iranian calendar year (March 21-September 22), standing below general inflation which averaged 36%. 

According to Harirchi, the government has assigned $3.5 billion worth of foreign exchange to the health sector to control the price of medicine and medical equipment.

SJ/MQ/MG

Leave a Comment

3 + 13 =