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PIHO Chief: Agility Not Downsizing

The head of the Petroleum Industry Health Organization (PIHO) says this organization continues to remain the administrative body charged with the petroleum industry's healthcare system. Habibollah Samie said it will continue to provide necessary healthcare services directly and indirectly to the petroleum industry staff as demanded by the Ministry of Petroleum.

"By virtue of general policies of Article 44 (instructed by the Supreme Leader) for downsizing the government in the management of sectors and delegation of authority to the private sector and the [government's] supervisory and monitoring role, the petroleum industry has taken some measures like privatization of refineries, petrochemical plants and distribution stations. But the PIHO is facing different conditions," Samie said.
He referred to tough working conditions for petroleum industry staff particularly in operating areas, saying the existence of bodies to provide healthcare services would be key to ensuring the peace of mind among staff.
"Healthcare-centered services are not privatized, but since the PIHO is administering the petroleum industry's health and given the declining governing role of the petroleum industry in some sectors and the ensuing fall in the population under coverage in some areas, healthcare services would be limited," he added.
Samie said: "For example, if after Bandar Abbas Oil Refining Company is privatized, the administrative and governing sections of Hormuzgan's PIHO branch have been merged with those in Fars Province. Of course, the service workers in that area continue to receive services."
He noted that in West Karoun area in Ahvaz, the petroleum industry is seeking new space for activity.
Therefore, he said, the PIHO must be ready to provide services based on this new structure and circumstances.
"In fact, the PIHO's presence in operating areas depends on the governing role of industry. For example, in 26 healthcare facilities operating in the gas development phases of Assaluyeh, there are 155 hierarchal positions and activity there has grown and expanded," said Samie.
He said that it was no question of downsizing and what was focused upon was to provide services to match petroleum industry's activities to bring about more efficiency for the PIHO.
Samie said some big cities have both public and private healthcare facilities, adding: "In these areas, the PIHO priority is to target redundancy and it does no longer seek expanding structure."
"Agreements are signed with public and private sectors to provide services. Except for Tehran and Ahvaz where PIHO has subspecialty hospitals and are serving as supporting areas, most referrals are to these two hospitals," he said.

Healthcare Services Continuing

Samie touched on free-of-charge healthcare services and plans for expanding indirect treatment, saying: "The petroleum industry staff have long been willing to choose their desired healthcare center. Therefore, the PIHO has been providing the necessary conditions so that the staff would benefit from the services of the private sector."
He said that the PIHO was providing services directly and indirectly, adding: "Direct centers include 9 hospitals and 280 healthcare centers, health houses, paramedical centers and pharmacies. Furthermore, we have contracts with 2,500 healthcare centers that are ready to provide services to the petroleum industry staff."
"All staff and their families benefit from the medical services of hospitals that have contracts with the Ministry of Petroleum by paying only a 15% portion of the costs. Moreover, if a patient refers to a private healthcare center that does not have a contract with the PIHO he would pay a 25% portion," he said.
Samie said that the framework of patients' referral would be like before, adding that patients who may need services of subspecialty hospitals would benefit from such services without paying any sum.
"Indirect treatment scheme is among the most important activities and actions of this Organization that has helped increase the quality of healthcare services provided to the petroleum industry staff," he added.

May 14, 2017 16:03
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