TEHRAN (Iran News) – Some 29 health projects worth 530 billion rials (nearly $12.6 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) were inaugurated in Zanjan province on Thursday.
The projects were inaugurated during a ceremony held through video conferencing with Health Minister Saeed Namaki in attendance.
Referring to the opening of more than 1,400 health projects by the end of May across the country, Namaki said that the most important of these projects include the establishment of a pediatric oncology department, the establishment of an endosonography department, the increase of ICU beds, and CT scans, the development of emergency departments in hospitals, and the construction of comprehensive rural health centers.
Health sector growth in 40 years
After the Islamic Revolution (1979), many advances have been made in the health sector, namely, increased medical facilities, increased life expectancy and reduced infant and maternal mortality, growth of medical universities, and upgraded medical equipment.
Before the Islamic Revolution, there were about 558 medical institutions with 57,927 beds in the country, which was insufficient in comparison to the country’s population.
Meanwhile, after the fourth decades of the Islamic Revolution, primary health care (PHC) has reached a coverage of 93 percent for the urban population and over 97 percent for the rural residents. At the same time, the establishment of the health care network system as a global model has taken place with more than 31,400 Health Houses and 7,400 healthcare centers.
Before the Revolution, there were only a limited number of physicians for the entire population of 36 million in Iran, so all the cities of the country and the country’s villages were suffering from the lack of doctors and specialists in 1,500 rural health centers.
The number of physicians in the country, including general practitioners and specialists in various fields, amounted to about 14,000, while a significant number of whom were foreign physicians. So, there were still about 9.3 physicians per 10,000 people.
Before the Islamic Revolution, four medical faculties were established in universities, but now there are about 59 medical universities across the country.
Before 1979, there were about 50 manufacturing companies in the field of medical equipment across Iran, all of which imported raw materials from abroad and assembled them inside Iran. These companies were only able to supply 3 percent of the domestic needs.
According to the statistics in 2017, medical equipment companies reached 500, which supplied over 80 percent of hospitals’ needs across the country, producing more than 8,000 types of medical equipment and supplying them to domestic and foreign markets.