Philanthropists Aid Health Sector Growth

Philanthropists Aid Health Sector GrowthPhilanthropists Aid Health Sector Growth

During the last fiscal (ended in March), donors contributed 10 trillion rials ($263 million) to Iran’s health system, 10% of which was paid by philanthropists in Fars Province, according to the director general of the Health Charity Association’s office in Fars Province.

“Such contributions by way of money and time help the country’s health system serve more patients, turn research into new treatments and train more specialists and physicians,” Hosseinali Shahriari said on Thursday on the sidelines of the 15th Health Charity Summit in Shiraz, IRIB News Agency  reported.   

“Since its establishment in 2006, the association has funded thousands of health projects by spending over 50 trillion rials ($1.3 billion),” he said.

Donors have helped fund the construction of more than of 4,300 healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics and health houses in rural areas.

Shahriari says the charity seeks to assist the Health Ministry by addressing shortcomings in the healthcare system and improve access to health services.

“During the last decade, the charity’s members helped increase Fars hospitals’ capacity by 2,500 beds and contributed to the construction of 50 emergency centers in the province.”

One of the most recent and important projects of the association, which is currently under construction in Tehran, is a specialized polyclinic at Tehran’s Shariati Hospital. Work started in February and the project is estimated to cost half a million dollars all of which is provided by the members of the charity.

Construction of a health center and a medical lab in Dogonbadan, Kohgilouyeh-Boyer Ahmad Province; establishment of an emergency medical center Kakhk City in Khorasan Razavi Province; and construction of a health center in Gonabad—also in Khorsan Razavi—are among the charity’s projects.

The health system in Iran, as is the case in most countries, including  in the developed world, is facing a variety of challenges that cannot be addressed 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, Shahriari said.

According to the World Health Organization, philanthropists are important funders of healthcare, particularly in the developing countries where they can help address unmet needs in the national health system. Philanthropic contribution is emerging as a significant venue for augmenting health systems to access financial resources and improve medicare.


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