TEHRAN — Primary health care is provided to rural residents by 31,000 health care providers (known as Behvarz) across the country, said Mohammadreza Rahbar, an official of the health network department director at the health ministry.
Primary health care includes preventive care, health promotion, screening and basic medical services for predefined conditions, he noted.
Currently, there are 31,148 active health care providers in the country, but to achieve ideal conditions, we need 43,128 health workers, he added.
Of course, 98% of the country’s rural population is covered by the primary health care (PHC) system, and the remaining villages are those with a very small population and high dispersion, he explained.
Some 98 percent of the country’s rural population is covered by the primary health care system. In 1971, a research project was carried out in the northwest city of Urmia, which came up with the idea of establishing a comprehensive health care network in rural and urban areas of the country. Similar projects were piloted in the western provinces of Azerbaijan, Shiraz, Tehran, Fars and Lorestan from 1973 to 2020, however, Iran’s healthcare network was launched in 1981-1983.
In six years (from 1984 to 1990), the PHC system was fully developed throughout the country.
The country’s PHC system is made up of several sections working in harmony to provide primary care to different groups of people in rural and urban areas. In rural areas, Maisons de Santé are established in villages with more than 300 inhabitants, which are under the supervision of a comprehensive rural health centre.
Each health center takes control of five health houses.
Two health care providers provide primary care in each health house; including preventive care, health promotion, screening and basic medical services for predefined conditions, to a population of approximately 1,100 people.
Currently, 18,000 health centers provide services to more than 20 million villagers nationwide, with 630 health care providers, he said.
Last October, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Iran, Jaffar Hussain, declared that the Iranian health system could be a model for other countries in the region, in particular in the field of health and the use of valuable forces such as health care providers.
They have also played an effective role in improving life expectancy, reducing mortality of pregnant women, improving health status and disease index in the past 40 years, etc
The World Health Organization believes that the improvement of health indicators in the villages of Iran and the reduction of the gap between health indicators in rural and urban areas are due to the activity of health care providers health.
A similar system provides primary care in urban and suburban areas through health posts with community health workers (known as “Moragheb-e-Salamat”), each of whom is responsible for providing services to approximately 2 500 people, Mohammad Hossein Nicknam, an immunologist, said.
“There is also a comprehensive urban health center that oversees three health posts, he noted, adding that some 5,343 health posts and 2,723 health centers are active across the country, with 24,000 health practitioners. health.
Highlighting that 93 percent of urban residents are covered by the country’s health networks, he said that 3,987 doctors and 1,2032 health care providers (dentists, nurses, midwives and health professionals in the fields of environmental health, nutrition, mental health, etc.) provide services to 54 million people,” he also explained.