Future Trends of the Primary Healthcare System in Iran: A Qualitative Study

Reza Dehnavieh, Sajad Khosravi, Mohammad Hossein Mehrolhassani, AliAkbar Haghdoost, Saeed Amini


Background: Primary healthcare system in Iran has played an extensive role in promoting people health in the past decades. However, regarding universal developments in the different global aspects effective on health, the performance of this system has been influenced significantly. The aim of the present research is to identify the future trends of the primary health care in Iran.

Methods: The participants of this qualitative case study were experts in primary healthcare, which were selected and interviewed through purposive sampling method. The interview process was saturated after 25 interviews, so we stopped the process at this point. Framework analysis based on STEEP model used to analysis the interviews.

Results: The most important social/value, technological, economic, environmental, and political future trends of primary healthcare in Iran included demographic transition, epidemiological transition, social and cultural changes, emergence of modern and advanced technologies, internet and cyberspace, budgeting limitations, resource management, changing paradigm from volume to value in providing health services, environmental pollutions, natural disasters, health governance, intellectual paradigm of senior officials, regional security, international development, and other internal factors of the health system.

Conclusions: The identified factors can be turned into opportunities for Iran primary healthcare system if health planners and policymakers have a deep and accurate look at these influential factors and manage them properly.

Keywords: Forecasting, Iran, primary healthcare

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