Hospital Care in Iran: An Examination of National Health System Performance
This study examines hospital care system performance in Iran. We first briefly review hospital care delivery system in Iran. Then, the hospital care system in Iran has been investigated from financial, utilization, and quality perspectives. In particular, we examined the extent to which health care system in Iran protects people from the financial consequence of health care expenses and whether inpatient care distributed according to need. We also empirically analyzed the quality of hospital care in Iran using patient satisfaction information collected in a national health service survey. The Iranian health care system consists of unequal access to hospital care; mismatch between the distribution of services and inpatients' need; and high probability of financial catastrophe due to out-of-pocket payments for inpatient services. Our analysis indicates that the quality of hospital care among Iranian provinces favors patients residing in provinces with high numbers of hospital beds per capita such as Esfahan and Yazd. Patients living in provinces with low levels of accessibility to hospital care (e.g. Gilan, Kermanshah, Hamadan, Chahar Mahall and Bakhtiari, Khuzestan, and Sistan and Baluchestan) receive lower-quality services. These findings suggest that policymakers in Iran should work on several fronts including utilization, financing, and service quality to improve hospital care.
International Journal of Healthcare Management