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January 2018, No. 86


Investment

Iran Health Ministry Signs €1.8b Deal with UK’s IHG


The project will be one of the biggest in Iran’s health sector, using foreign financial resources and creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs.


Iran’s Ministry of Health signed an investment and cooperation memorandum of understanding with UK’s International Hospitals Group in the Iranian Embassy in London (Oct. 23). Based on the deal, IHG will invest an estimated €1.8 billion in the construction of a network of modern cancer treatment centers in Tehran and other provinces.

“Apart from attracting financial resources to build, equip and run these centers, the British side will cooperate in transferring the latest medical know-how regarding cancer treatment and training of personnel,” Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad reported in his official Instagram Channel.

When completed, the project will be one of the biggest in Iran’s health sector, using foreign financial resources and creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

International Hospitals Group is an international healthcare services company headquartered in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. IHG’s services include healthcare consultancy, design, construction, medical equipping and operation and management of healthcare facilities.

The MoU was signed after several months of negotiations on technical aspects of the project. The British company is funding the construction of a network of advanced cancer treatment centers in Iran, including Tehran and other cities, all equipped with the latest cancer treatment equipment and protocols which can communicate and coordinate in the form of a network. If necessary, patients will be initially diagnosed and then referred to the relevant centers depending on their need.

Iraj Harirchi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said that in the healthcare sector the country was in need of attracting nongovernmental capital, adding that attracting foreign investors was one option. He said that before striking the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and due to the sanctions there was no possibility of negotiations in such areas, but all foreign investments were made possible after JCPOA was signed. “We need to make investment in various areas, and cancer treatment is one of them.”

He said that the ministry had already signed contracts with foreign countries, adding: “This is not something new. Considering the credit restrictions for investment inside Iran, as in other sectors, one of our priorities is attracting foreign investment. Previously, we have also signed healthcare contracts with countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria, Turkey and South Korea.”

According to first deputy health minister Iran is currently facing a shortage of 40,000 hospital beds, and after the implementation of the ‘health scheme’, more than 24,000 beds were added to the treatment centers; however, there is still a shortage in this area and we have signed deals with foreign investors to receive 10,000 new hospital beds.”
The signing of the MoU on cancer treatment and construction of new medical centers related to this disease is important because, according to Health Ministry officials, outbreak of various cancers in Iran is on the rise and is expected to become the second cause of death in the country in the future. According to the latest figures released in Iran, excluding skin cancers, there are 92,000 new cases of cancer annually. If we add up the skin cancers, the figure will rise to more than one hundred thousand. Breast, stomach, intestine and bladder cancers can be considered the most common cancers in the country, regardless of the gender. The ratio of men with cancer in Iran is 134 per 100,000 and of women is 128.

 

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  January 2018
No. 86