Medical Journal of The Islamic Republic of Iran (MJIRI)
Iran University of Medical Sciences
Azami S, Hosseini S M, Alimohammadzadeh KH, Jafari M, Bahadori M K. International Sanctions and the Procurement of Medical Equipment in Iran: A Qualitative Study. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2021; 35 (1) :1227-1236
Methods: A qualitative study using a content analysis approach was designed to investigate the effects of the international sanctions on capital medical equipment from January 2018 to June 2019. The data were gathered through 32 face-to-face, semi-structured interviews according to an interview guide. All the interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed accordingly. Thematic analysis with an inductive approach was employed for analyzing the data.
Results: After a comprehensive analysis of open codes, two themes and 9 sub-themes were formulated. Based on our findings, the challenges facing the Iranian health sector during international sanctions included: “procurement of capital medical equipment” (with 6 sub-themes: Capital medical equipment suppliers, Monetary and interbank transactions, Suppliers and importers of the capital medical equipment, The process of procurement of capital medical equipment, Healthcare providers and Service receivers) and “repairing and after-sales services of capital medical equipment,” (with 3 sub-themes: Software and spare parts dependent repair, Specialized human resources dependent repairing and after-sales services).
Conclusion: Even though the sanction has made Iranian scientists and technicians capable of re-engineering and producing some of the medical equipment and accessories, the study confirms the adverse effects of sanctions on the quality and quantity of medical equipment procurement, hence, delivering adequate and on-time medical services. In many cases, for money transfer issues, international companies were not sure they could have their money back if they sold the facilities to Iran. Fear of losing the US market was the other main consideration for the international companies.