TEHRAN (Iran News) – A total of 5 trillion rials (around $15.6 million) has been spent on infertility treatment and population youth law in the first six months of this year which began on March 21, the deputy head of the Health Insurance Organization has said.
Iran’s universal public health insurance scheme, known as Salamat Health Insurance, covers hospitalization, para-clinical and outpatient services, including doctor’s visits, radiology, lab tests, and medication costs at any public hospital affiliated with the Ministry of Health.
At present, 63 items of special medicine and 28 items of medical supplies that are needed for infertility treatment are covered by insurance companies, ISNA quoted Mehdi Rezaei as saying on Sunday.
He stated that some 56 government centers, 44 private centers, and about 30 independent and non-independent public centers are contracting parties with Health insurance, which has increased compared to last year.
According to the commitments, 90 percent of infertility treatment costs are covered by insurance. So far, in the first six months of the year, 5 trillion rials (around $15.6 million) have been spent on infertility services.
By a decree issued by President Ebrahim Raisi, the “Law on Family and Youth Support” approved by the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) was notified to the Ministry of Health and the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs.
The Guardian Council approved the law on November 17 to implement a population growth and family support plan for 7 years to change the declining trend of childbearing.
The plan stipulates health insurance for infertile couples, providing services and facilities to working women, providing health and nutrition support packages to mothers and children, educational opportunities for student mothers, providing livelihood support to families, and ongoing medical services to pregnant women.
20% of Iranian couples have infertility problems
Four million Iranian couples (equivalent to 15-20 percent of total couples) suffer from infertility, Naser Amir Jannati, an infertility specialist, has said.
Numerous studies show that men are involved in more than 50 percent of infertility cases. In other words, they can be the main cause of this problem or play a role in this disorder along with female causes.
Although some of the causes of male infertility are still unknown, most of the causes are known and treatable, he highlighted, IRNA reported.
The provinces that have the highest number of infertile couples are Kerman, Bushehr, Sistan-Baluchestan, and Ilam, he added.
Births declined by 10,000
A total of 269,748 births were registered in the spring (March 21-June 21), showing a decrease of 10,816 births compared to the same period last year, according to the report released by the Statistical Center of Iran.
Over the first three months of this year, 130,715 girls and 139,033 boys were born in the country.
The fertility rate declined to 1.71 children in the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020-March 2021), reaching below the replacement level.
Replacement level is the amount of fertility needed to keep the population the same from generation to generation. It refers to the total fertility rate that will result in a stable population without it increasing or decreasing.