Jul 15, 2014, 3:51 PM
News Code: 2721377
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Government of Australia supports refugee healthcare in Iran

Tehran, July 15, IRNA – A recent 47.2 billion Iranian rial donation (2m AUD) by the Government of Australia, will help vulnerable refugees living in Iran benefit from health insurance coverage and provide them with essential basic needs assistance, in line with the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR)- a strategy to assist both refugees and host countries.

The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to host one of the largest protracted and urban refugee populations in the world. According to latest government figures, a total of 950,000 registered Afghan & Iraqi refugees currently live in Iran, a news release issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Tuesday.

With increasing medical and treatment costs, difficulty in finding affordable medication and associated economic hardships, Afghan refugees are less inclined to consult with health-care professionals and seek follow-up treatment. Accordingly, diagnosis and treatment are often postponed until their medical conditions deteriorate, resulting in even higher treatment costs.

Through the Health Insurance Scheme (HISE) III, UNHCR in partnership with the Ministry of Interior’s Bureau of Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) and Asia Insurance Company provide refugees access to complementary health insurance for nearly 220,200 vulnerable refugees including 2,000 individuals suffering from special diseases; thalassemia, hemophilia, renal failure, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

UNHCR pays 100% of the annual health insurance premium for vulnerable refugees. This insurance then partially covers their surgical and associated treatment costs.

UNHCR’s Representative in Iran Sivanka Dhanapala said, “We are very grateful for the assistance provided to refugees, assistance that significantly improves their living conditions. We encourage the international community to continue its critical support to Afghan refugees. “

Under the framework of the SSAR, HISE will assist with the health care of refugees in Iran, alleviating the burden on the host country. It will also have a significant impact on increased possibility of sustainable return and reintegration of refugees in their homeland, once they opt for voluntary repatriation.