Explaining the Challenges of the Iranian Health System in Fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic: a qualitative study


health system, challenges, covid-19, coronavirus, pandemic


Introduction: The covid-19 pandemic has become a global threat for the general public and health care workers and it has created major challenges for all healthcare sectors. The challenges created by this disease can vary in different countries depending on cultural, social, and economic factors. To explain the challenges of the Iranian health system in fighting the covid-19 pandemic from the managers’ and executive authorities’ viewpoints.


The present study is a basic-applied research performed using a qualitative approach. It has studied 30 managers of the hospitals and medical centers’ managers, and deputies of the Ministry of Health, and the universities of medical sciences which were selected by purposive and snowball sampling with the maximum variety in March-September 2020. Data collection was done through semi-structured interviews and content analysis was used to explain the challenges of the Iranian health system in fighting the covid-19 pandemic (2020).


Most of the interviewees (87%) had a Ph.D. degree (34%), and 40% of the participants were graduated in management and health economy and policymaking fields. Analysis and synthesis of the data collected from the interviews led to the creation of 19 sub-themes and 12 main themes classified into four general scopes including the organizational factors, resources, management factors, and other factors.


Identifying the mentioned challenges can provide useful information for the managers and policymakers to develop appropriate plans and take the necessary measures for resolving the challenges and using the available resources to provide the most effective services.



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