The head of the Medical Council of Iran has announced that healthcare costs have increased by 20 to 40 percent in Iran after cuts were made to government subsidies.

Shahabeddin Sadr said a rise in energy costs at hospitals and drug and medical equipment factories has had a direct impact on medical services and drugs.

He urged the government to manage the costs so that the average Iranian household would not be burdened by the rising costs.

Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi said on Sunday that 2.5 million people in Tehran are facing “disastrous” medical costs. She added: “While the government’s budget has increased fivefold in the past five years, the health ministry’s budget has remained the same.”

She added that according to the government’s fifth plan of development, Iranian households should only pay for 30 percent of the medical services they receive.

She said however that they are currently paying 53.9 percent of the costs while the rest is covered by public and private insurances.

The Ahmadinejad government has removed government subsidies for energy and food staples, which has sparked rising inflation.