People
0

Healthcare Infrastructure Needs Private Sector Help

Iran has 550 state-run and 350 private hospitals, which means that currently the public sector has a dominant presence. It accounts for 64.7% of all health care centers
Twelve hospitals in Mashhad have taken license from the Health Ministry for health tourism.Twelve hospitals in Mashhad have taken license from the Health Ministry for health tourism.
200 hospitals were granted license by the health ministry to admit foreigners seeking non-emergency health care in Iran

Given the increase in life expectancy rates, the need to expand healthcare services has increased considerably and the health sector is grappling with shortages of various stripes, namely hospital beds, infrastructure and facilities.

“The government has taken serious steps towards implementing health reforms and promote quality healthcare and treatment. However the health industry is in dire need of private sector participation and attracting investments to help alleviate the problems,” the Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi said Thursday on the sidelines of a visit to Khatam-al-Anbia Hospital in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, IRNA reported.  

According to the Health Ministry, and estimated 7% of Iran’s GDP is spent on healthcare, related investments for new facilities and upgrading existing ones. Globally, nearly 10.5% of GDP is spent on healthcare.

Promoting medical tourism can also have a positive effect on the domestic  health system as it will increase revenues.

“Mashhad is one of the successful cities in the country that has attracted private sector  investment and registered progress in health tourism,” he said.

“So far, 12 hospitals in Mashhad have taken license from the Health Ministry for health tourism including, Razavi, Javad-al-Aemeh, Bentolhoda, Sina, Mehr, Taleqani, Pasteur, Akbar, Imam Reza, Qaem, Ariya, and Imam Zaman hospitals. From among the twelve, 11 are private hospitals.

Iran has 550 state-run and 350 private hospitals, which means that currently the public sector has a dominant presence. It accounts for 64.7% of all health care centers.

 Health Tourism

Medical tourism has gained momentum over the past few years. Some 200 hospitals were granted license by the health ministry to admit foreigners seeking non-emergency health care in Iran, IRNA reported a former deputy health minister as saying.

According to Mohammad Aghajani, former deputy minister of health for treatment and head of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences,  thousands of foreigners come to Iran every year to seek treatment because ‘our performance in delivering health and treatment services is among the best in the region.”

Since 2014, the ministry has set benchmarks for hospitals if they want to receive permits for admitting foreign patients.

“So far 200 hospitals have acquired the license and most are private hospitals,” Aghajani said.

Health tourism tariffs, which are competitive across continents, are usually decided based on supply and demand. However, hospitals need to officially announce the tariffs on their websites. Moreover, hospitals are obliged to sign a contract with the foreign patients before the treatment begins and inform them of all the expenses with complete transparency, he said.

Medicinal tourism industry has expanded in recent years, however, hospitals and special treatment centers have the capacity to provide medical services several times the current level, Aghajani added.

High cost and low quality of private medical care in many countries in the region means there is demand for medical services in Iran. Muslim nations are particularly attracted to Iran as they feel more safe and contented than in Arab or other Asian countries offering similar services.

Geographical proximity, hot and cold springs in various parts of the country as well as low-cost and high quality health services for infertility treatment, stem cell treatment, dialysis, heart surgery, cosmetic surgery and eye surgery are giving rise to new opportunities in Iran’s medical tourism.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Financialtribune.com