The Business Year

Ali Akbar Yazdani

IRAN - Health & Education

Stitch in Time

CEO, Moheb Hospital


Ali Akbar Yazdani achieved a Doctorate of Medicine from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in 1988. He then went on to become Director of the Health Center in Qom from 1988-1991. From 1997 until 2001, he served as Board Member of the Association of General Practitioners in Karaj. His career with Moheb Hospital in Tehran started as Executive Manager in 2005, and he has held the position of CEO since 2009.

How would you evaluate the healthcare industry in Iran? The healthcare system in Iran, as in every society, depends on the government. Since health is a major issue, it is […]

How would you evaluate the healthcare industry in Iran?

The healthcare system in Iran, as in every society, depends on the government. Since health is a major issue, it is the government’s responsibility to supply and support the system. The Iranian healthcare system is based on three pillars: the public-governmental system, the private sector, and NGOs. Although the government invests and spends more on other sectors of the economy, I believe that the Iranian healthcare system is one of the most advanced in the world because of its workforce. Our medical professionals come from important universities, both local and international, and their training is very strict. My overall evaluation of the Iranian healthcare system is positive.

How does Moheb Hospital fit into the healthcare industry?

Moheb Hospital is the first public-private partnership (PPP) health facility in Iran. It was a successful experiment considering that we are scheduled to open two more affiliated hospitals in September 2012. One of them is especially for women and the other will be a general hospital. In this context, we don’t want to limit our expansion to Tehran—we would like to export this model across the country and inspire growth in the healthcare system. Investing in this project is positive for the country and we are aiming to attract other players in the market in order to enhance this winning model.

What does Moheb Hospital specialize in?

There are specialties for which Moheb Hospital is famous: heart surgery, orthopedic, nephrology, kidney transplants, urology, general surgeries, cardiology, and laparoscopy surgery. On average, we see 1,600 patients per month and perform approximately 800 operations monthly. Our doctors and physicians are all members of the board and faculty members of medical schools and universities, so they are very well trained and prepared.

How can your two new projects create a competitive edge in the local healthcare system?

At one of the new branches, all the services provided will be conceived for female patients, employing a woman-specific approach. This has something to do with the culture we live in. According to the needs of our Islamic society, a number of ladies require to be treated by women only, and we want to meet this demand. We can fill this long-ignored gap for women that seek to follow Islamic rules. As we were the first hospital involved in a PPP project in the country, we are again the pioneers with our women’s hospital, which is the first of its kind in the country and we are very proud of that.

Do you expect the two new branches to increase medical tourism in the country?

Definitely. I think that many women will come from neighboring countries to Tehran to be treated and cured by our female doctors. In 2011, we treated 1,500 medical tourists at Moheb Hospital, and my projection is that we will see more coming due to our professionalism and the quality of service we provide. About 50% of our foreign patients come for kidney transplants and orthopedic treatment. In order to meet this domestic and international demand, we are carefully considering our future. Our aim is to create hospital chains throughout the country with a close focus on plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is popular among Iranians. There are only a handful of other places where patients can get this type of surgery. We want to establish new centers and supply this specific demand. Another important factor is the speed at which our hospitals can be built. It can take 10 or 15 years to build a public hospital, but it takes us just 18 months. This is another record for both Moheb and the country.

What can we expect from Moheb Hospital in the near future?

We are going to focus on the quality of our services. We would like to increase the number of procedures we perform. The hospital carries out 110 to 120 open-heart surgeries per month, which makes us the second- or third-ranked hospital in Iran. We are highly competitive in the market and we want to link the Moheb Hospital brand with quality. We hope that in the future we can expand further. Moheb Hospital is ready to attract investments for our facilities in order to enhance the healthcare system. We are ready to cooperate with NGOs and other private institutions to increase the competitiveness of the market.



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