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Ex-Ministers Criticize Health Reform Plan
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Ex-Ministers Criticize Health Reform Plan

Two former ministers of health and medical education have criticized the manner in which the incumbent administration is allocating funds to the Health Reform Plan launched in May 2014.
Without taking the expenditure into account, implementing the health reforms is not feasible as “the government cannot afford the high costs” says Dr. Masoud Pezeshkian, member of the Majlis health committee, Mehr News Agency reported.
However, noting that any plan has its own opponents as well as proponents, Minister of Health Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi said “it is unfortunate that opponents are expressing their views through biased and unjust criticism, and are trying to derail the project.”
Pezeshkian maintained that the ministry of health has ignored requests regarding budget allocation per capita, and not made provision for underdeveloped regions to be placed high on the agenda. The plan’s single outcome is that “well-to-do regions get richer leaving underprivileged regions even more deprived than before.”
Such a trend pushes up total expenditure and injustice in deprived regions and brings deprived people “face to face with more issues of medical and health services.” If unchecked, the problem will trouble the state, Majlis, insurance companies, and the public, he charged.
Also disapproving the plan, former two-term minister of health Prof. Ali Reza Marandi indicated that the policies of the health ministry “must be focused on disease prevention rather than cure.’
Reports of the ministry of health regarding the progress of the Health Reform Plan  reveal that medical tariffs in hospitals has dropped to six percent while last year (prior to implementing the plan) it was over 60%.

 Unfortunate
Hasmeni further said national interests  must not be sacrificed due to unfounded judgments and dissatisfaction of a few critics. “Sidelines must not distract us from our main objective of serving the people.” He stressed that to date no other state official has attended to health issues  as much as him, and said “the biggest obstacles are caused by shortsighted people who continuously attempt to sabotage plans that benefit the public.”
Violations by insurance companies including delayed payments or reducing the premium on certain  medical service packages for years “prepared the grounds for collecting money illegally from the people.” The minister cited the growing inflation rate as against unchanged income of employees in the medical and health sector as “yet another problem to be tackled.” Highlighting that medicine and health are intertwined he declared “we are proud to announce that all medical and health centers in small towns with a population under 20,000 – such as Zabol and Mirjaveh , in Sistan & Baluchestan Province  – now have professional practitioners. Additionally, vaccine distribution, delivering supplementary foods to pregnant women, and supplying a larger array of medications are all successful pointers to health reforms in deprived areas. He also assured that nurses will be compensated for their “valuable efforts with increased payments by the year-end (March 20), and promised that medical and health issues will receive greater impetus.

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