MEK: Growing Poverty Across Iran
While health insurance appears to be the only source of support for those infected with the virus, it appears that officials have forgotten that article 29 of the regime’s constitution states that insurance and health services are provided free of charge to all citizens and that they should be able to use them without restriction.
The Covid-19 outbreak
According to the Iranian opposition group The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), 414,500 people had died in Iran as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak as of September 9.
From the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, government officials have stated that the virus does not discriminate between the poor and the wealthy and that it affects everyone.
The healthcare system
However, it didn’t take long for the truth to emerge: the healthcare system’s exorbitant costs and an increase in hospital beds have pushed more than 3 million people below the poverty line.
The average cost of a coronavirus case, according to the government’s order, is 4.5 million tomans in the ICU and 2.5 million tomans in the general care units. However, now that there are no spare beds in government-run hospitals, they are charging multiple times more to admit a patient in the ICU.
In addition, the cost of ICU beds in private hospitals has risen to 50 million Tomans, despite the fact that many people do not have insurance.
The financial disadvantage in the event of a coronavirus
According to the Ministry of Welfare, the country’s overall basic health insurance coverage was 86 percent in 2020. Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, with 94.2 percent, are the most advantageous provinces in the country, while Tehran, with 78.9 percent, is the least advantageous.
In other words, around 21% of residents in Tehran province do not have health insurance, putting these families at a significant financial disadvantage in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.
Those without insurance suffer more
According to statistics, those without insurance suffer more in these crucial conditions, and roughly 40% of patients who died of coronavirus had no insurance.
As per statistics from the Ministry of Welfare, Iranians personally paid 35 percent of all medical expenses prior to the coronavirus.
Medical costs, expected to rise drastically in 2021
Other data from the ministry, 2.4 million Iranians slipped into poverty in the previous year as a result of rising medical costs, which are expected to rise drastically in 2021.
The Ministry of Welfare’s statistics backs this up. In 2017, out-of-pocket treatment costs accounted for 32.6 percent of total treatment costs. In addition, 2.41 million persons experienced catastrophic medical expenses in the previous year.
Increased poverty in the community
According to the World Bank, Iranian households paid roughly 35 percent of their medical expenses out of pocket in 2018, which is significantly more than the global average of the index, which is 18 percent. In the same year, Iran was placed 116th out of 187 countries.
Today, vulnerable community members who are forced to get coronavirus in a workshop or at work and earn a salary of two to three million tomans must pay 20 to 40 million tomans out of pocket for hospital treatment if they do not have insurance, resulting in increased poverty in the community.
Imported medicines smuggled to neighboring countries
Surprisingly, medicine and medical equipment enter the country at a 4,200 tomans currency conversion rate but are sold to consumers at a much higher price.
Imported medicines and items required by patients have been reported to be smuggled to neighboring countries or held in customs for days, with government agents preventing them from reaching the people.
Tags: coronavirus, coronavirus (COVID-19), coronavirus in Iran, Iran human rights, Iran Opposition, MEK, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI, poverty