The Islamic Republic of Iran has set an example, globally, by including all refugees into its Salamat Insurance Scheme that will provide all registered Afghan and Iraqi refugees with health insurance services similar to that of its own nationals.
Iran marked this decision with the signature of a tripartite agreement between the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA) of the Ministry of Interior, the Iranian Health Insurance Organization (IHIO Salamat) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which will be soon implemented.
All registered refugees residing in Iran will now have access to the Salamat Insurance Scheme and will benefit from a health insurance package for hospitalization and temporary hospitalization same as the scheme available to Iranian nationals. Furthermore, those refugees suffering from Special Diseases (Hemophilia, Thalassemia, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant and Multiple Sclerosis) will now benefit from the basic insurance package. The package includes all Hospitalization, Temporary Hospitalization and Para-clinical services.
The beneficiaries of this scheme will have a contribution to the funding, however the Government of Iran is generously covering half of the real monthly costs of the insurance premium. This is further complemented by a UNHCR contribution of 8.3 million USD for this six month period.
Refugees often face financial challenges when addressing issues relating to health care, in particular when surgery or hospitalization is involved. The inclusion of refugees in this scheme ensures that such challenges are overcome.
Sivanka Dhanapala, UNHCR’s Representative in Iran acknowledged the Iranian Government’s contribution, express UNHCR’s gratitude towards Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for all the services it has rendered to the largest protracted urban refugee population in the world for over three decades, and inclusion of the refugees in this Universal Insurance Scheme which is exemplary not only regionally but also globally, and added that such a services haven’t been provided before and I sincerely hope other countries will follow this example.”
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