Monday, September 05, 2005

Home care, health care, and corruption


"My mom needs a shot. The doctor told me to get the medicine through my insurance, not through the black market. 'It should be about 20,000 tuman,' she told me. I tried all of my contacts: nothing. Nothing is available officially. On the black market, they're asking 450,000 a dose. I sent another guy after it. He got the price down to 390,000. Finally, a nurse was able to get it for me for 99,000."

Oil revenues are reportedly high. Iran is using about $1 bn to set up a love fund to help couples tie the knot and settle down. Don't ask the gov what it will do for people who are aging or suffering serious illnesses. Iranians already know: they'll have to fend for themselves. Word on the street is that a famous wrestler recently died because he did not have money for the medication he needed. I heard the manager of the hospital give a well-spoken rebuttal to the rumor, but even I did not 100% believe him. I believed the rumor.

Caring for yourself or for another requires the following:

Good health insurance plus lots of cash;
A team of supporters who advocate for you with the doctor and the hospital staff;
A team that gets you your drugs;
A caring family member who acts as your nurse;
Someone who can interpret your lab results;
Lots of cash.

Healthcare is Iran's Achilles heel. The population is overwhelmingly young, which means that healthcare will be pushed to its very limits in the coming years. Families are increasingly small, which means no single daughter who devotes her life to caring for her parents.

Expectations are high. Iranians know that their doctors are well-respected. TV and radio are chock-full of medical programs. People want to be able to take care of themselves, and they expect to be able to take care of themselves. They know that the money from oil is pouring in, and some of them are starting to ask why don't the hospitals have drugs? Why isn't the medication they need legally available? Why can't they get the care they deserve and expect? How did the medicine find it's way on to the black market in the first place?


Mohammadreza said...

I'm glad that you believe rumor not the official statements. It's funny, isn't it?

Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.