WHO’s Chan Hails Healthcare in Iran

WHO’s Chan Hails Healthcare in IranWHO’s Chan Hails Healthcare in Iran

The first step in achieving universal healthcare indices is an integrated multi-pronged strategy backed by strong political commitment, which the Islamic Republic of Iran has successfully adopted, said director general of World Health Organization Margaret Chan, at a seminar on non-government organizations in the health sector, held in Tehran’s Milad Tower.

“An efficient health system that gains people’s trust by providing easy access to medical care comes next. What impresses me the most about Iran is the accurate understanding and implementation of a coherent policy by all health-affiliated organizations,” the top WHO official said on Thursday, reports ISNA.

President Hassan Rouhani, Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi and senior officials from various ministries were also present at the seminar.

She referred to NGOs as the voice of the civil society and commended Iran’s performance on healthcare coverage “to all privileged and underprivileged regions.”

International treaties and conventions including on tobacco control will not be sustainable without national and community support, she said.

“Being healthy is a human right and all individuals must have access to medicine and medical care; we will do anything in our power to ensure access to drugs for all Iranian patients,” she said referring to the western sanctions on medicine imports over Iran’s nuclear program.

 Suitable Model

At a press conference for Sustainable Development Goals to prevent non-communicable diseases and WHO cooperation in better implementing the Health Reform Plan, Chan said “the Iranian government has improved public health, particularly in rural areas, through primary health education. This could be a suitable model for many countries.”

Through unwavering efforts, Iran has increased life expectancy considerably vis-à-vis the available resources.

“Iran’s action over the past 18 months to provide nationwide healthcare coverage, including introducing medical tariffs and allocating more resources for insurance and medical care indicates that no individual will fall victim due to medical expenses,” Chan emphasized.

She lauded Iran’s “outstanding performance” in science and research and said, “National capacity in production of medicines is a point of strength for the country, and the government must take advantage to produce more essential medication.”

Underlining the vitality of self-care and healthy lifestyle, she said it is not the sole responsibility of the government keeping people healthy at all times.

Referring to the National Document in Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) that was unveiled in her presence, she said “the document is a roadmap that needs perseverance to be put into practice.”

The document, which is projected to reduce deaths from NCDs by 25% within ten years, was signed by Rouhani and a number of ministers on Wednesday. Its execution will be assessed by the WHO in the next two years. Chan also praised Iran’s medical support to Yemen and Syria.