Free medical services for people aged over 65

March 13, 2021 - 17:24

TEHRAN – Patients over the age of 65 can receive free inpatient services in state-run hospitals across the country, the IRIB news agency reported on Saturday.

The plan was launched on Saturday nationwide, and will cover 46 million people, Farhad Khodaei, an official with the Social Security Organization said.

In May 2014, a 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.

Increased access to medicine and treatment was among the achievements of the plan. In the first, treatment was considered an emergency, and the increase in hospital beds, the accommodation of specialist physicians in hospitals, and deprived areas were among the important measures taken.

With increasing access to healthcare, 11 million Iranians who did not have any health insurance coverage were covered by public insurance.

Iran's commitment to universal health coverage

The healthcare network in rural areas of the country is called Health House, which is under the supervision of a rural comprehensive health center, Mohammad Hossein Nicknam, Immunologist in Tehran University of Medical Sciences said in June 2020.
Each health center takes control over five Health Houses,” Nicknam explained.

“With the efforts of Behvarz (healthcare providers), primary care including, preventive care, health promotion, screening, and basic medical services for the predefined conditions, are provided to the rural residents with an approximate population of 1,000 people.

While complicated cases or those with more severe symptoms are sent to the comprehensive health center, and emergency patients are referred to the provincial hospitals,” he said.

“Currently, over 17,800 Health Houses are providing services to 28 million villagers nationwide, with a workforce of 31,000, he highlighted, adding, 6,642 family physicians and 5,852 rural midwives are working in 2,794 comprehensive rural health care centers.

Therefore, 98 percent of the country’s rural population is covered by the PHC system,” he noted.

A similar system is providing primary care in urban and suburban areas by Health Posts with community-based health care workers (called “Moragheb-e-Salamat”), each of whom is tasked with offering services to about 2,500 people, Nicknam explained.

“There is also an urban comprehensive health center which supervises three Health Posts, he noted, adding, some 5,343 health posts and 2,723 health centers are active across the country, with 24,000 healthcare practitioners.

Pointing out that 93 percent of the urban residents are covered by the health networks in the country, he said that 3,987 physicians and 1,2032 health care providers (dentists, nurses, midwives, and health professionals in the fields of environmental health, nutrition, mental health, etc.) provide services to 54 million people,” he also explained.