Health minister resigns

FNA – Iranian Health Minister Seyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi bid farewell to his colleagues at a weekly meeting with his deputies on Monday to confirm the week-long unofficial reports on his resignation, although government sources said President Rouhani has not yet endorsed his resignation.

Informed sources said on Sunday that Qazizadeh Hashemi had submitted his letter of resignation to the president last week, but unofficial reports were rejected by government media outlets outright.

Reports from the ministerial office said Qazizadeh Hashemi who has been absent from work throughout the last week appeared in his office this morning to wrap up work and bid farewell to colleagues.

Yet, President Rouhani has reportedly not endorsed the resignation yet.

Deputy Head of the Budget and Planning Organization Saeed Namaki has reportedly been at the health ministry since early this morning for tough talks to change Qazizadeh Hashemi’s decision.

Meanwhile, the latest report said the minister is now paying visit to a clinic in Western Tehran.

The health ministry’s share of the budget next year is said to be the bone of contention that has reportedly encouraged Qazizadeh Hashemi to resign his post.

Born in 1959, Qazizadeh Hashemi is an ophthalmologist, specializing in cornea surgery, who joined the cabinet in the first term of Rouhani’s administration in 2013.

He was among the 16 ministers who won the vote of confidence for the second term of Rouhani’s administration on August 19, 2017.

Noor Ophthalmology Complex is a hospital network owned and headed by Qazizadeh Hashemi.

Prior to being a cabinet member, he served as an advisor to health minister from 1997 to 2001, and as the Chancellor of the Medical Sciences Faculty of Tehran University.