Islamic Republic of Iran | News | Improving the management of Iranian public hospitals

Improving the management of Iranian public hospitals

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Participants during a training sessionParticipants at a training session. Photo by Ayoub Ghaderi, Health Managers Development Institute13 December 2018 – The World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education has conducted a nine-day (8–17 December 2018) training of trainers course on Kish Island to improve public hospital performance within the context of the national health transformation programme towards achieving universal health coverage in the country.

The training on leadership and strategic management for hospital chief executive officers in the public sector was organized at the Health Managers Development Institute on Kish Island, as part of a WHO-developed capacity-building programme. The International Hospital Federation also collaborated closely in developing the modules on leadership.

The capacity-building programme is composed of three three-day training courses, which cover self-leading, governance and organization leadership, situational leadership, people management, change management, communication for driving an organization, strategic thinking and planning, operational planning and project management, problem solving and decision making, and implementation and evaluation of strategies.

The national health transformation programme is attempting to increase the number and size of hospitals in the country, increase their autonomy, introduce new financing methods for hospitals and professionalize hospital management. The effective implementation of the programme will require strengthening the leadership and management capacity of public hospitals.

In 2016, WHO organized a consultation mission to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. The mission brought international and national experts around a table to discuss a capacity-building programme in management of public sector hospitals. This was followed by a detailed situation analysis of public sector hospitals and the development of training guides and modules in eight thematic areas on hospital management, including the role of hospitals in the health system, governance, human resources management, health financing, information systems, quality and safety, supplies and services, and disaster preparedness. A training of trainers course was then undertaken, followed by the roll out of training to public sector hospital managers across the country. WHO has supported the capacity-building programme since its inception and is monitoring the training and providing external evaluation.

Key health-related statistics

Total population in thousands

79 926

Total health expenditure (as % of general government expenditure)


Maternal mortality per 100 000 live


Primary health care units and centres


Life expectancy


Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Islamic Republic of Iran country health profile

Regional Health Observatory