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Philanthropists are important funders of healthcare  particularly in developing countries where they can effectively address unmet needs in the national health system.
Philanthropists are important funders of healthcare  particularly in developing countries where they can effectively address unmet needs in the national health system.

Philanthropy Helps Improve Healthcare Funding

Philanthropy Helps Improve Healthcare Funding

Over the last five years, philanthropists have funded the construction of 4,300 healthcare units including hospitals, clinics as well as health houses in rural areas, said Seyed Reza Nayeri, director general of the Iran Health Charity Association (also known as Salamat Charity) on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of a project to construct a specialized polyclinic at Tehran’s Shariati Hospital. 
Stating that many prominent medical specialists are working in Shariati Hospital which is an educational hospital affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), he said the 600-bed hospital was established more than 50 years ago and therefore is in need of renovation. “Some sections should be reconstructed.” 
Patients with hard-to-cure diseases from around the country come to the hospital for advanced  medical treatment. The hospital provides outpatient services to more than 305,000 people and emergency treatment to more than 19,800 patients each year, “so more attention should be paid to the hospital standards,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA. 
The hospital has 34 specialized sections and clinics including bone marrow transplant clinic, advanced stem cell therapy clinic, infertility treatment and IVF center. 
Nayeri said the polyclinic will be constructed and equipped at a cost of $506,000 (20 billion rials) through donations from individual philanthropist and the TUMS.
Fourteen health centers have been established by the charity in the outlying areas of the capital city and lesser developed regions of Tehran Province this year that ends in March. Since its founding in 2009, the charity has spent over $1 billion (40,000 billion rials) on building medical centers in the country. 
The charity seeks to assist the Health Ministry “in bridging the gap in the healthcare system and increase access to health services,” he maintained.
Earlier, Seyed Mohammad Hadi Ayazi, deputy health minister for social affairs said during the first half of the current year Iranian philanthropists contributed $197 million (7.8 trillion rials) to the health sector. 
The health system is facing a variety of challenges that cannot be redressed by the government alone. Aging infrastructure needs to be replaced and staffing shortages overcome. Advances in treatment and technology, which are costly also need to be addressed, he said.
“Philanthropic contributions in cash and kind as well as volunteering time will help us serve more people through research into new treatment and educating more physicians.” 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), philanthropists are important funders of healthcare particularly in developing countries where they can effectively address unmet needs in the national health system. Philanthropic contribution is emerging as a significant means for augmenting health systems to enhance financial resources for medical care. 

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