Parliament’s Health Commission says the health budget will have a shortfall of 20 trillion toumans in the coming year. Mohammad Hossein Ghorbani, the head of the Health Commission, says the plan to provide universal health insurance requires that special credits be put in place.

Ghorbani stressed that Parliament will make every effort to remedy this shortfall, adding that proposals to this effect were introduced in Parliament on Sunday January 4.

The new universal health insurance is a service to be offered to those who do not have health insurance from any other source. Registration for the service began last May.

It is estimated that 12 million to 13 million Iranians do not have any form of health insurance. Of those, five million to six million are to receive insurance coverage in the first phase. However, the source of this budget has yet to be officially announced.

The Rohani administration has announced that it will also offer the health insurance to Iranians between the ages of 18 and 50 residing outside Iran.