Islamic Revolution reduced dependence on foreigners in health sector: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Feb. 04 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that one of the achievements of the Islamic Revolution is that it has reduced the country's health sector dependence on foreigners.

He made the remarks Monday at a public session of the Iranian parliament to defend Saeed Namaki for the position of Minister of Health and Medical Education.

Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, the previous health minister, resigned from his position over proposed budget cuts in early January.

Rouhani noted that “the rapid development of the health sector is one of the many achievements of the Islamic Revolution.”

He congratulated the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and said, “we all know that the health sector, treating patients, health expenses, disease prevention, independence and health tourism are important for our country.”

“A quick overview of the preliminary figures in the health sector clearly indicates how much developments have been made in the past 40 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.”

“In 1979 before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the entire population of doctors that we had was 14,700, out of which 6,000 doctors were foreign and half of the health sector relied on foreign doctors,” he continued, adding that today some 140,000 Iranian doctors are offering services to the public.

He also appreciated the efforts of former Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi and regretted his resignation.

Saying that the Islamic Revolution has chosen a good path in health issues, he added, “this does not mean that we have no problems in the health sector, but when we compare it to 40 years ago and other countries, we see that we have had considerable progress.”

“Since the beginning of the 11th government, we had been thinking about a plan to reform the health sector,” he said, adding, that in 2014, Healthcare Reform Plan was operationalized with the sincere efforts of Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi.

“Dr Hashemi’s name will stay forever with Healthcare Reform Plan in the history of our country.”

Stating that the Healthcare Reform Plan has taken good steps in the past 5 to 6 years, the Iranian President said, “the number of hospital beds in the first years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution was 55,000, while today, we have 129,600, which shows 131 per cent growth."

Elsewhere, Rouhani appreciated the speaker, board of directors and the members of the Parliament for approving the four important bills on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. “This will be recorded in history as an important job by the Majlis [Parliament] and the government.”

“We have always been a pioneer in fighting terrorism and we must not allow those who have people’s blood on their hands and have conducted various terrors in the history to claim they are fighting terrorism, and give them a pretext to insult us,” said Rouhani.

“Two bills have so far been finalized, and God willing, the other two will be finalized soon.”

“Before the revolution, we needed to go abroad to treat some illnesses or have an operation, but today, this need is met almost completely, or even been vice-versa. Today, we have many health tourists,” Rouhani maintained.

“In the beginning days after the Islamic Revolution, 25 per cent of our medicine was produced in the country but today, we are proud that we can produce 95 per cent of our medicine domestically.”

The President also went on to stress the importance of how medical students are trained and educated, saying, “If we review the process of medical education in our country from the first day, we will find out that our medical universities have to be reformed and this is one of the most important responsibilities of the new minister.”

About Dr Namaki as his choice for the position of Minister of Health and Medical Education, he said, “I found Dr. Namaki as the best choice, as Dr. Hashemi himself proposed him.”

MAH/4532912/President.ir

News Code 142181

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