Healthcare Makeover for Sistan and Baluchistan

Healthcare Makeover  for Sistan and Baluchistan Healthcare Makeover  for Sistan and Baluchistan

Healthcare facilities in the Southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan “will undergo a dramatic shift toward significant improvement,” Minister of Health Hassan Hashemi announced during a visit to the region.

The healthcare initiative is part of President Hassan Rouhani’s development package for the region known for its underdevelopment. The government has been trying to reverse the backwardness of the region by implementing new plans such as creating the Chabahar Free Trading Zone. On his first official trip to the region, Rouhani unveiled new plans to help the region overcome unemployment and poverty by pledging his administration’s full support for development.

Hashemi also held meetings with provincial health officials and medical university faculty members.

In Zabol, the minister allocated $300 million for the renovation of a hospital. Inspecting a health center in the town, he expressed satisfaction with the increase in the number of trained health professionals, but said the infrastructure is still lagging behind, reports ISNA.

Sounding the alarm on the high rate of tuberculosis cases in the province he called for prevention campaigns to be stepped up. As part of the campaign to combat the pandemic in Zabol, the construction of a tuberculosis treatment center commenced during the minister’s one day visit with contributions from two charity organizations as well as Zabol Medical Sciences University. The facility is set to be completed in one year.  

‘’Fortunately, there is no shortage for doctors anymore in the province which is a beacon of hope for the region’s healthcare.’’ The status of provincial healthcare is bound to improve within a couple of months.


Hashemi criticized what he called ‘’ insufficient attention to public health ‘’ during the previous years and said ‘’ if some good work had been done in the past, now we wouldn’t be dealing with health problems such as infectious diseases.’’

Promising that the provincial healthcare system will soon experience ‘’a significant change,’’ the minister said academic programs should be directed towards public health “as it is a major government policy to focus on medical services.’’ Since there are shortages in healthcare services, “we should give attention both to hygiene and healthcare of the region.’’

The minister also noted that the government’s priority in the region is first and foremost ‘’public health and then a focus on medical services.’’ Referring to the Health Reform Plan which was launched on May 5, 2014 - a plan that dramatically lowered healthcare costs - he said although “good steps have been taken, much is left to be done.”


The province, beset with economic woes, has seen migration of its population to more prosperous cities like Tehran in search of employment in recent years. But the fact that many of the migrants lack proper identity documents deprives them from decent employment, housing, healthcare and social welfare.

Zohre Sayyadi, a child rights activist, told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) that unless the ethnic Baloch move to register themselves on the national civil records, “they and their children will continue to remain deprived and will not have the necessary legal documents.”

The displacement of these poor families also leads “to a sort of role reversal with men staying at home and women and children going out to work on the streets or engaging in dead-end jobs,” she maintains.

When it comes to housing, like many other migrants, they are often unable to find a permanent roof over their head; so they take recourse to occupying abandoned or dilapidated buildings, which may lack even basics like water and electricity.

Sistan and Baluchistan is 178,431 sq. km in size bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan and its capital is Zahedan. Its major cities are Khash, Iranshahr, Saravan and the commercial free port of Chabahar is on the Gulf of Oman coast.

The province comprises of two sections, Sistan in the north and Baluchistan in the south. In the south, the people are mostly Baloch and speak the Baluchi language.

The inhabitants of the province continue to embrace their own norms and traditions; most of the tribes are nomadic and their means of livelihood, life-style, mode of dwelling, customs and traditions are worth seeing.