Iranian Health System Response to the COVID‑19 Pandemic

Tahereh Shafaghat, Mohammad Kazem Rahimi Zarchi, Seyed Masood Mousavi, Roohollah Askari, Mohammad Ranjbar, Faezeh Ebadi


Introduction: The COVID‑19 pandemic has created several challenges for countries all over the world. Different countries have taken different measures to fight this pandemic and reduce its challenges depending on their cultural, economic, and social structures. This study aims to understand and explain the Iranian health system’s response to fighting the COVID‑19 pandemic from the managers’ and authorities’ perspective. Method: This study is a basic applied research performed under a qualitative approach. In the survey, 30 experts including the managers of health centers and deputies and heads of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and Medical Universities were selected by purposive snowball sampling and participated in semi‑structured interviews from March to May 2020. The researchers explained the actions of the Iranian health system in fighting the COVID‑19 pandemic in 2020 by content analysis. Results: As a result, 14 subthemes were found and classified into four major themes, including the informative and regulative actions (two subthemes), administrative and supportive actions (six subthemes), preventive and curative actions (three subthemes), and resource‑related actions (three subthemes). Conclusions: Due to its strong health structures, such as urban and rural health networks, various general and specialized hospitals, experienced doctors, and committed health staff, Iran has taken practical actions in fighting the COVID‑19 pandemic. However, the findings of this study and its relevant measures can help combat this pandemic in countries with similar social and cultural structures or counter future similar crises.


Actions; COVID‑19; health system; pandemic; response

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