History of primary health care in Iran


Primary health care; Iran; History of Public health; Health policy; equitable health


Background: The history of the primary healthcare system in Iran portrays a journey of strategic development and implementation that has resulted in significant advancements in healthcare access and overall population well-being. Starting in the early 1980s, Iran embarked on a comprehensive approach to health care delivery prioritizing universal access, equity, and community participation.

Introduction: The foundation of this system was established during the Alma-Ata Conference in 1978, which placed a strong emphasis on the role of primary health care in attaining health for all.

Iran's unwavering commitment to this approach led to the creation of an extensive network of rural and urban health centers designed to offer essential health services and preventive care to all citizens.

Discussion: Over the years, the expansion of Iran's primary healthcare system has yielded noteworthy accomplishments. Maternal and child mortality rates have seen substantial declines, attributed to improved access to maternal care and immunization services.

The effectiveness of the system in reaching diverse populations has been enhanced through community engagement and the integration of traditional medicine. Furthermore, Iran's focus on health education and disease prevention has resulted in heightened public awareness and the adoption of healthier lifestyles. Despite these achievements, challenges continue to persist. Disparities in the quality and accessibility of services between urban and rural areas remain a concern. Moreover, the ongoing necessity for infrastructure development, training of the health workforce, and efficient resource allocation underscore the continuous efforts required to strengthen the primary healthcare system.

Conclusion: The history of Iran's primary health care system is marked by progress and achievements, underscored by an unwavering commitment to providing comprehensive, community-based care. Iran's journey serves as an exemplary model, highlighting the positive impact of prioritizing primary health care in achieving better health outcomes for its population. As Iran continues to evolve its health system, addressing challenges and building upon successes, the history of its primary health care system serves as a valuable lesson in the pursuit of accessible and equitable health care for all.



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