Financial Aid for Organ Transplant

Financial Aid  for Organ TransplantFinancial Aid  for Organ Transplant

The five-member board of trustees of the so-called fund to provide financial assistance for organ transplants in Iran, established under the supervision of the Health Ministry, allocated 190 billion rials ($6.3 million) for the purpose in the last Iranian fiscal year that ended on March 19.

Since establishment the board has borne a greater part of transplant costs, as such operations are expensive and insurance companies do not pay for it.

The board pays for a wide range of services including the solution required to preserve the body organs while being transferred from one place to another; therefore, “without this support, many families will not be able to afford transplant for their loved ones,” said Houman Narimani, head of the board’s projects, IRNA reported.  

Funds to the tune of 70 million rials ($2,300) for bone marrow transplant, 80 million rials ($2,600) for liver and 50 million rials ($1,600) for heart and lung transplants are paid by the board as well as the costs of kidney transplants. So far, around 4,000 livers, 7,000 bone marrows, 500 hearts, 120 lungs and over 9,000 kidneys have been transplanted with help from the special fund.

“Foreign nationals including Afghans and Iraqis who have permanent residence card and medical insurance can also benefit from the Health Ministry’s fund,” said Narimani.

Between 5,000 and 8,000 people are declared brain-dead in Iran every year, while the organs of only 700 brain-dead are donated. Between seven and 10 people awaiting organ donation die on a daily basis. At least 2,500-4,000 organ transplants are needed annually. Nearly 25,000 people suffer from organ failure and between 1,000-3,000 Iranians register as organ donors every month.

The Majlis (parliament) approved the creation of the board in 1999. Its aim is to provide quality medical services to Iranians mainly in organ transplants so that they can avoid seeking medical care overseas and thus save foreign exchange for the government.

The board’s five members are appointed by the health minister and the current members include Abbas Sheibani (founder), Seyed Ali Sadrossadat, Mohsen Bahrami, Ebrahim Raeesiyoun, and Seyed Abbas Hassani.

The board’s budget is approved every year along with the annual national budget and is used under the supervision of the Health Ministry.  As a major supplier of medical equipment, the board should also send its financial report to the Majlis Health Commission every four months.