Hashemi Blames DoE for Health Problems

Hashemi Blames DoE for Health ProblemsHashemi Blames DoE for Health Problems

Health Minister Dr. Seyed Hassan Hashemi blamed the Department of Environment (DoE) for, what he said were “increasing diseases among the people.” Some DoE measures had led to “an increase in the number of patients.”

Commenting on air and environment pollution he said: “A MoU on pollution has been signed with the DoE but as there were some problems in its implementation, it has been postponed to after further discussions.”

He strongly rejected “having a political view” on public health. “I basically believe that health issues should be kept away from the purview of politics, conflicts and competition between political parties,” reports the online news website Alef.

Hashemi further said that low quality gasoline no doubt had caused several health problems for the people, but asserted that “only paying lip service to the cause will not solve the problems.”

A workgroup had examined the level of impurity in gasoline and the reports of the studies “have been presented to parliament.”

 No Disagreement

He refuted statements regarding “disagreements between his ministry and the ministry of oil and the DoE” on the harm caused to people’s health by gasoline. This is a scientific matter and the level of benzene in gasoline can be easily measured. “The carcinogenic effects of gasoline is also a fact and indisputable,” he noted.

Any measures “to reduce the number of and level of affliction of diseases should be appreciated and acknowledged.” Politicizing the issue is wrong and harmful to the general health of the society, Hashemi stressed.


This is not the first time that the minister has been candid about health issues in the country.

He was the first state official who openly discussed the issue of palm oil in dairy products. The news made headlines and alerted the people against using full-fat milk and other dairy products.

Hashemi also opened the issue of bribery and financial violation by some physicians and strongly followed the case. Unofficial sources have spoken of “the high pressure from some parts of the medical fraternity to block the implementation of the ‘1690 calling system’ and related website. However, the minister still emphasizes the fight against corruption in the country’s medical system.

The ‘1690 calling system’ and website were launched for the public to report any case of violation or register complaints regarding the medical services and tariffs.

Hashemi was also the first minister to criticize the measures of the education ministry in the area of distribution of unhealthy food items in schools.

His criticism of the DoE due to increasing levels of air pollution and diseases as a consequence of impure gasoline, and his views on health issues are in line with his previous approach and actions.

Pollution is causing severe health problems such as burning and itching of eyes, ears, and nose, headache, nausea, lack of stamina, migraine, various allergies, skin rashes, nervous system disorders, pulmonary diseases and infections, asthma, lung cancer, cardiac problems and heart attacks. According to statistics in Tehran only 2400 to 4800 people die due to air pollution-related diseases annually.

As the Iranian Organization of Forensic Medicine has reported, in the first six months of the year (started March 21) 40 Tehranis have died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The figure has seen an 11.1% rise compared to last year’s death toll due to CO poisoning. Thirty of the deceased were male and the rest, female.