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President at parliament session to defend his choice for health minister:

Rapid development in health sector one of many achievements of Islamic Revolution/Dr Hashemi’s name to stay forever with Healthcare Reform Plan/Gov’t, Majlis work together for implementing Healthcare Reform Plan/We mustn’t let superpowers claim countering financing of terrorism

President Rouhani appeared at a parliament session to defend his choice for the position of Minister of Health and Medical Education and said, “The rapid development of the health sector is one of the many achievements of the Islamic Revolution”.

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Mon 04 - February 2019 - 09:01

At the session that was held on Monday morning, Dr Hassan Rouhani 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”.

He added, “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.

Stressing that 140,000 doctors are working in the country today, the President said, “Instead of 600 medical students in 1979, we have 6100 medical students today”.

He also said that in the health sector the Islamic Revolution has chosen a good path, he said, “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 have had considerable progress”.

Acknowledging work and devotion of doctors during the Sacred Defence era and today, the President continued, “Since the beginning of the 11th government, we had been thinking about a plan to reform the health sector”.

“In 2014, Healthcare Reform Plan was operationalised,” he said, appreciating Dr Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi’s sincere work and valuable role in the plan.

He also went on to say, “Dr Hashemi’s name will stay forever with Healthcare Reform Plan in the history of our country. One of my regrets in the 12th government is that this good, hard-working friend could not be with us for the rest of the path remaining”.

Dr Rouhani added, “The government and Majlis are working together for implementing Healthcare Reform Plan”.

The President also appreciated the speaker, board of directors and the members of the parliament for approving the four important bills on countering money laundering and terrorism, adding, “This will be recorded in history as an important job by the Majlis and the government”.

“We have always been a pioneer in fighting terrorism and we must not allow powers and superpowers and those who have blood on their hands and have done various terrors in the history to claim they are countering financing of terrorism, giving them a pretext to insult us,” said Rouhani.

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

Stating that the Healthcare Reform Plan has taken good steps in the past 5 to 6 years, the 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 hospital beds, which shows 131 per cent growth”.

“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,” said the President.

Dr Rouhani also said, “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”.

 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”

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 schools have to be reformed and this is one of the most important responsibilities of the new minister”.

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