Rehabilitation Services to Be Covered by Insurance

Absence of rehabilitation can lead to the failure  of treatment procedures. Absence of rehabilitation can lead to the failure  of treatment procedures.

A comprehensive plan for insurance coverage of rehabilitation services has been prepared by the Health Ministry and sent to the High Council for Insurance for approval.

The plan includes a variety of services including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychological consultancy, orthosis and prosthesis application and rehabilitation for patients with cervical disorders.

Patients with history of stroke and spinal cord injury as well as those suffering MS, Parkinson’s disease and developmental disorders will benefit from the scheme once approved.

“Insurance will pay only for services at comprehensive rehabilitation centers abiding by Labor Ministry regulations, and hospitals with inpatient facilities for a group of conditions including stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson, MS and developmental disorders,” said Mohammad Taqi Joghataei, advisor to the health minister, IRNA reported.

Rehabilitation of sensory and cognitive function typically involves methods for retraining neural pathways or training new neural pathways to regain or improve neurocognitive functioning that has been diminished by disease or trauma.

It is the third phase of healthcare services after treatment and recovery, and without rehabilitation it can lead to the failure of the treatment procedures.

“This branch of medicine has been ignored for years. For many of the rehab services tariffs have not even been fixed, and services for which tariffs have been set are not in the insurance fold,” the official rued.

He expressed hope that the proposal will address the problems of patients in need of rehabilitation.

Earlier he had said that around 300,000 Iranians have stroke each year, about two thirds of whom (i.e. around 200,000 people) need rehabilitation services.

Rehabilitation is also an essential component of comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) care. According to Hossein Pakdaman, President of Iranian Neurological Association, there are about 70,000 patients with MS in the country.

There is no official data on the number of people with spinal cord injury. The Foundation of Martyrs and Veteran Affairs has declared about 2,100 war veterans with cut spinal cord, that causes lack of sensation below the injury.

Also, it is announced by the State Welfare Organization that more than 18,000 people out of the 400,000 injured in traffic accidents are currently suffering an SCI.

“This is a minimum figure,” says Joghataei who estimates that a higher number suffer from spinal cord injury in traffic incidents each year.

Developmental disorders are also a relatively common problem affecting a considerable number of children such as those with autism or congenital motor disorders. These patients also require rehabilitation to be able to have a normal life.


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