Macroeconomic Policies and Increasing Social-Health Inequality in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Health Management Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Health is a complex phenomenon that can be studied from different approaches. Despite a growing research in the areas of Social Determinants of Health (SDH) and health equity, effects of macroeconomic policies on the social aspect of health are unknown in developing countries. This study aimed to determine the effect of macroeconomic policies on increasing of the social-health inequality in Iran.
This study was a mixed method research. The study population consisted of experts dealing with social determinants of health. A purposive, stratified and non-random sampling method was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect the data along with a multiple attribute decision-making method for the quantitative phase of the research in which the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) was employed for prioritization. The NVivo and MATLAB softwares were used for data analysis.
Seven main themes for the effect of macroeconomic policies on increasing the social-health inequality were identified. The result of TOPSIS approved that the inflation and economic instability exert the greatest impact on social-health inequality, with an index of 0.710 and the government policy in paying the subsidies with a 0.291 index has the lowest impact on social-health inequality in the country.
It is required to invest on the social determinants of health as a priority to reduce health inequality. Also, evaluating the extent to which the future macroeconomic policies impact the health of population is necessary.


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