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Health Insurance Part of Social Justice
National

Health Insurance Part of Social Justice

President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the virtues of national health coverage for all people saying ‘’health insurance for all is not justice completely done, but certainly a part of it.’’
Rouhani who was addressing a ceremony to mark the landmark achievement of health insurance coverage for all Iranians, said ‘’national health insurance coverage and the alleviation of those who are suffering is the first stage of the government’s social welfare programs.’’
The president said ‘’ illness’’ and ‘’unemployment’’ are two social problems causing immense pain in society; the latter problem “seems to be more significant as if it is eradicated the former problem well go away as well,” he said, but stressed on wiping out diseases and ill health as well. A healthy individual even if jobless can stand on their own two feet through their talent and skills. But ‘’in illness there is only pain and unbearable suffering.’’

  Sacred Profession
Rouhani described healthcare services as a ‘’sacred profession,’’ comparing the care and treatment at health centers as giving ‘’new life’’ to patients.
The president said the former practice of charging patients huge costs for providing them with medical care was offensive. ‘’With assistance from top state officials and the great Iranian nation, a grand project began which is still underway much to the great satisfaction of patients,’’ Rouhani said.  In the early days of the plan, the sick couldn’t even believe that they could receive free medical care. At the UN, many Heads of State were surprised “as to how we could launch the universal health coverage in a short period,’’ he pointed out.
The Chief Executive announced that ‘’now we can declare that all Iranian nationals have health insurance which is a great honor for the people.’’
The president asked for two more initiatives to be undertaken. One is ‘’raising the quality and effectiveness of the health insurance’’ and secondly ‘’boosting the standards of public health.’’
‘’Public health and wellbeing takes precedence over treatment and thus educating the people in matters of personal and public health comes first.’’ He said health education should start from elementary school.
He also referred to other health initiatives undertaken by the government such as ‘’free distribution of milk in schools’’ and ‘’food commodity subsidies’’ which so far has covered 11 million needy people.  
The National Health Insurance program is part of the Health Reform Plan which was launched on May 5, 2014. One of its primary objectives was to make healthcare cheaper and more affordable to the people.

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