The Transition of Health Care in Rural Iran

Type Journal Article - Sociation Today
Title The Transition of Health Care in Rural Iran
Volume 9
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Iran, officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western-Asia. In the geo-political division of the world, Iran is considered one of the Middle East countries neighboring Turkey and Iraq on the west. Slightly over 99.5 percent of the Iranian population adheres to the different sects of Islam. But Iran's language and culture goes back to Perse, a non-Arab tradition. The official language is Persian (Farsi) but other languages such as Kurdish and Azari are spoken regionally by different ethnic groups. Historically, Iran developed as a strong and rich civilization with a self-sufficient agricultural economy and cities with administrative and commercial functions. Today the economy is dominated by the export of oil with the majority of employment in the service sector and retail industry.

According to the 2006 census, the Iranian population was counted at 70,472,846 with 32 percent of the population living in rural areas. A large number of the so-called urban population lives in small towns which have shared the same barriers toward access to health care as small scattered villages. Traditionally, the major barriers toward access to healthcare for the rural population and those living in small towns have been population dispersion, distance from major cities, road limitations, and location in mountainous areas. In fact, these are some of the major physical factors which are barriers toward providing health care for rural population in many countries of this region. Despite these barriers, access to health care for the rural population in Iran has increased significantly through innovative policies implemented since 1980s. This paper aims to describe these policies and their practical application.

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