Sick in Iran

My baba has been diagnosed with cancer, a rare kind that is spreading rapidly.

We are lucky. Our family has supplementary medical insurance, on top of the standard government-issued coverage. “Think of the hell we’d go through if we didn’t,” says my brother on the day the diagnosis lands.

Under the intense sanctions of recent years, the cost of cancer treatment in Iran has skyrocketed. A single course of chemo meds, imported from Belgium, costs us three million tomans – more than £600. Getting the drugs from the one special pharmacy in Tehran that carries them is a whole process of its own. Still, I’m told, it’s so much better than last year, when patients could only buy these particular meds on the black market at double the price, exclusively in cash.

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