Minister: Iranian Health Ministry suffering from $3.22 billion budget deficit

Business Materials 28 October 2013 15:16 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 28 /Trend, N. Umid

Iran's Health Ministry is suffering from an 80 trillion rials (about $3.22 billion based on official rate of 24,820 rials per each USD) budget deficit, Minister of Health, Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi said, ISNA news agency reported.

He went on to say some 210 trillion rials have been allocated for the Health Ministry in the current year's budget (started on March 21), while only 130 trillion rials of that figure would materialise due to sanction-related problems.

On October 23 the Iranian parliament approved the general outlines of the current year's budget bill amendment.

Parliament approved the current year's 7.270 quadrillion rials budget bill which is about $293 billion based on the official USD rate.

Early in September, ILNA news agency quoted Iran's Medical Council head Alireza Zali as saying Iran's pharmaceutical industry is suffering from a 10 trillion rial (about $400 million) budget deficit.

Unfortunately the current year's national budget bill has allocated no budget to the Medical Council and similar organisations, he added.

Former Health Minister of Iran, Mrs.Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi was dismissed by ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in December 2012, because of her harsh criticism of the Central Bank of Iran. She criticised the Central Bank because of its avoidance to supply importers of medical equipment and drugs using the official USD rate (12,260 rials/dollar).

Iran experiences certain difficulties with drug shortages in the country, largely because of international sanctions imposed on Iran due to its disputed nuclear programme.

Despite the fact that the sanctions do not directly target medical supplies and food, many companies refuse to deal with Iran fearing the impact of the sanctions.