Iranian Journal of Public Health 2017. 46(9):1156-1166.

Status of Iran’s Primary Health Care System in Terms of Health Systems Control Knobs: A Review Article



Background: After the establishment of Primary Health Care (PHC) program in Iran, health indicators have improved every year. This progress was so rapid that a number of shortcomings and weaknesses of the PHC program remained silent behind its successes. This study aimed to assess the status of Iran’s PHC system (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in terms of health system’s control knobs.

Methods: The search was conducted through two English `databases of Web of Knowledge and PubMed, two English publications of Science Direct and Springer and two Persian databases of Magiran and SID. Keywords were selected from MeSH and included primary health care, PHC and Iran in both Persian and English. No time limit was considered.

Results: Iran's PHC system has numerous successes in dealing with health system’s control knobs; which largely part of that related to the health network implementation, the role of Behvarz, improvement of health indicators in rural areas and the elimination of urban-rural inequality, but there are some weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the Iranian PHC system as well.

Conclusion: By considering socio-economic changes the current structure of PHC system needs to be reformed to coordinate with phenomenon of chronic diseases, accidents and aging. The current information system in PHC does not provide the required information for decision makers and policy makers so it needs to be transformed to the electronic system with unique electronic health file for individuals.



Primary health care, Health system, Control knob, Iran

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