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Is Iran An Inspiration for Rural Health Care?

Image: Steamboatsorg under CC 3.0

As strange as it may sound, rural areas in the United States are taking cues from the Iranian health care system. Its outcomes (including infant mortality) have improved over the last several decades, as a result of the advent of health houses.

Health houses are run by citizens, and provide preventative care in an informal yet effective manner. They can provide care faster and cheaper than far-away emergency rooms, possibly serving to promote the advent of more affordable health insurance. If more extensive care is needed, the houses have contracts with local hospitals and clinics.

The poor and mostly uninsured population of the Mississippi Delta are looking towards any solution to improve their health outcomes. This particular method can be especially helpful in preventing hospital readmissions, a key goal of healthcare reform. Unfortunately, a health care system that originated in Iran is a hard sell, and supporters have struggled to receive funding.

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