SSO Set to Upgrade Hospital Services

SSO Set to Upgrade Hospital Services SSO Set to Upgrade Hospital Services

The Social Security Organization plans to upgrade in-patient services at its hospitals across the country.

“The move is aimed to ensure better patient satisfaction and care in medical treatment as well as that of staff,” said its deputy for treatment Mohammad Ali Hemmati, at a recent function to elaborate the SSO agenda for the fiscal year that began in March.

The 80 SSO hospitals which account for over 10,000 or 10% of all hospital beds across the country are to be covered by the project to refurbish services in patient care, IRNA reported.

The SSO is the largest social insurer in Iran which provides medical and pension coverage for wage-earners as well as voluntary coverage of self-employed persons. A nongovernmental organization formed in 1975 it is primarily financed by premium contributions (7% by employees/workers, 20-23% by their employers and 3% by the government). It also has investments and stakes in several major industrial and commercials sectors. At present, more than 41 million people are under the SSO umbrella.

The giant insurer also plans to install a linear accelerator for cancer patients at Shahid Fayyaz Bakhsh Hospital in Tehran, Hemmati said.

A linear accelerator (LINAC) customizes high energy x-rays to conform to a tumor’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. It features several built-in safety measures to ensure that it will not deliver a higher dose than prescribed and is routinely checked by the medical physicist to ensure its proper working.

Referring to its 46,000 medical staff, Hemmati said the SSO has managed to bring down the rate of c-section in its hospitals by 2% over a period of nine months in the past Iranian year.

The organization spent 160 trillion rials ($4.5 billion) in direct and indirect medical support in that year, which is estimated to reach 190 trillion ($5.4 billion) by the end of this year.

It also plans to allocate 6,000 billion rials ($170 million) to set up new medical or health centers by March 2017. Further, all radiography devices are set to be digitized.

“The SSO currently has 35 medical projects in the pipeline and 57 (including hospitals as well as outpatient clinics and health centers) are ready for launch,” Hemmati noted.

Other major items on the SSO agenda for the current year are new quality management systems, internal referral systems, standardization of physical space within sterilization centers and delivery wards, developing geriatrics centers and services, boosting structural integrity and enhancing hospital preparedness in anticipation of incidents.

The SSO owns several large industries and companies and over the years has emerged as an economic conglomerate with immense power and influence. Last year, the SSO’s budget was $27 billion.