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Iran: Supreme Leader advises officials to pay due attention to health sector

Source: Tehran Times

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has advised Iranian officials to make decisions in such a way that the people do not feel concerned about issues related to healthcare.

Cartoon: Using alternative means (story telling) to put out the patient in the absence of anesthesia medication due to sanctions (see high resolution) - Source: Mardomak

"Officials and the conscientious should make plans and conduct administrative affairs in such a way that the people's minds will be at ease about the issue of (medical) treatment," Ayatollah Khamenei said during a meeting with a number of benefactors of the health sector in Tehran on Monday.

The issue of healthcare has priority over many other issues, the Leader added.

Ayatollah Khamenei's remarks came four days after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi and appointed Mohammad Hassan Tariqat-Monfared as caretaker health minister.

Cartoon about ouster of Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi
Source: Mardomak

Vahid-Dastjerdi, the only women who ever served as a minister since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, was dismissed shortly after she publicly criticized the government's response to the shortage of vital medicine and said that not enough foreign currency had been allocated for the import of medicine.

Read related story by Hamshahri

Her dismissal drew criticism from a number of officials, who say that she should have been retained in her post until the end of Ahmadinejad's term in office, which expires in the summer of 2013, in order to prevent delays and problems in the decision-making process at the important ministry.

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