EghtesadOnline: Seventy-one hospitals were built and operated from the fiscal 2013-14 to the fiscal 2020-21, according to the Public and State-Owned Buildings and Facilities Construction Organization affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development of Iran.
“There were 150,287 hospital beds in Iran last year [March 2020-21], indicating a 34.3% growth compared with the year ending March 2014. The number of hospital beds will increase to 178,500 by March 20, 2022. Since the start of President Hassan Rouhani’s term in the year ending March 2014, the average number of hospital beds increased by 400 per month,” says Hamid Pour-Asghari, an official in charge of scientific, cultural and social affairs of the Plan and Budget Organization, IRNA reported.
The ratio of hospital beds to the population increased from 1.48 to 1.8 beds per 1,000 people during the period, he added.
The supply of health workers improved by 22.4% to reach 511,583 people over the eight-year period, marking a 22% growth in workforce in health and treatment sector, a 12% rise in research centers and a 21.5% increase in education sector over the period.
The number of emergency ambulances stood at 6,067 in the year ending March 2021 compared with 3,086 in the year ending March 2014.
“Ambulance stations grew from 2,063 to 2,904. Emergency medical services’ coverage of freeways, arterial and urban roads hit 89% last year. The number of health and treatment centers in urban and rural areas improved by 14.3% and 13.4%, respectively. At present, there are one health house — centers providing basic healthcare services — per 1,300 people,” Pour-Asghari said.
According to the official, infant mortality rate, i.e., deaths of children under one year of age per 1,000 live births improved by 22%; it decreased from 15% to 11.6% during the period. Deaths of children under five years of age per 1,000 live births improved to 14% as well. “However, the maternal death rate [death of a woman during pregnancy or childbirth] jumped from 17.7% in the year ending March 2020 to 25% in the year ending March 2021 due to the outbreak of Covid-19 disease,” he added.
The number of free-of-charge natural childbirth grew 100% in the year ending March 2021 compared with the year ending March 2014, while caesarean delivery declined 5.44% during the period.
“The share of locally-produced and imported drugs in total consumption reached 88% and 12% respectively last year. Over 207.5 million doses of vaccines were delivered last year, of which 60 million doses were imported and the rest were developed domestically,” he said.
Noting that the number of health workers increased by 55,284 during the outbreak of coronavirus, Pour-Asghari said, “Outstanding merit pay of health workers up to the month ending Oct. 21, 2020, has been cleared. Over 195 trillion rials [$805 million] from resources worth €1 billion from the National Development Fund of Iran, the sovereign wealth fund of Iran, have been paid, of which 165 trillion rials [$680 million] were paid to the health and treatment sector. What’s more, a credit worth 90 trillion rials [$370] million) from general budget has been paid to the coronavirus targeted subsidies.”