President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a health conference in Tehran on Feb. 26.
 President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a health conference in Tehran on Feb. 26.

Medical Community Needs Int’l Interaction

The government requires foreign and private investments, if it is to develop the health sector effectively

Medical Community Needs Int’l Interaction

President Hassan Rouhani underscored the need to develop foreign relations to help bolster the national health sector.
"We cannot make good progress on medicine and treatment without interacting with the world. Our universities and researchers should interact with the world," Rouhani was quoted as saying by his official website on Sunday.
Speaking at a national health conference in Tehran, the president said, "Some believe the more tightly the country's doors are sealed [to keep foreigners out], the healthier and safer it will remain. But they are wrong, because we have a great nation and a rich culture."
Rouhani was apparently lashing out at his conservative rivals who oppose his drive to open the country to the international community after crippling sanctions on domestic economy were lifted under the 2015 historic nuclear deal with major powers.
They argue that a welcoming policy toward overseas businesses could give the hostile western states the long-sought opportunity to make inroads into the country and undermine the Islamic Republic system.
"Some have a worried mind and promote panic in the society, while our university professors and researchers need to thrive by interacting with their foreign peers," he said.
Highlighting his government's strong performance over its three-and-a-half-year life in the health sector, he criticized the state media for failing to reflect that in their broadcasts and merely spotlighting the government's weaknesses.
Rouhani said his government requires foreign and private investments, if it is to further develop the health sector effectively.
"Not all the required investment can be provided by the government. We should invite private investors to join us and assure them that they will receive fair returns," he said.
He highlighted the people's right to public health and medical services, enshrined in the Constitution and reasserted in the Charter on Citizens' Rights, compiled on his orders.
Rouhani unveiled the document in December to fulfill one of his 2013 electoral pledges to clearly delineate, promote and defend the rights of citizens.
It is meant to raise public awareness on their rights and commits all government bodies to ensure their enforcement.
"Citizens have the right to enjoy a decent life and necessities thereof, such as clean water, adequate food, promotion of health, environment, appropriate medical treatment, access to medicines, and medical, medicinal and health equipment, supplies and services in compliance with current scientific and national standards, and safe and sustainable environmental conditions," the charter said.

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