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Introduction: One of the primary issues of the global health system is always optimal planning. It is essential to identify planning mechanisms for use by policymakers and health trustees. Comparative research and learning from other nations' experiences will be highly beneficial in the meantime. The purpose of this study was to compare the primary healthcare and health planning systems in Iran to those in other chosen nations.
Method: In 2023, a cross-sectional methodology was used to conduct this practical research. The characteristics of operational planning in internal Iranian organizations, such as the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the Social Security Organization, and the Health and Medical Organization of the Oil Industry, as well as in a few foreign nations, such as Turkey, Russia, France, and Sweden, have been studied in this research. The methodologies and requirements of operational planning in the health and treatment sector in certain nations and internal organizations of Iran are covered by this study, which uses comparative tables and flashcards as data gathering tools. Care providers, health planning providers, planning systems, program components, how to set goals and objectives, how to choose activities, and monitoring and evaluation systems for health programs are some of the elements that were investigated.
Findings: In countries like Sweden and France, municipalities play a major role in providing services, and governments act as a supervisor. It was also noted in the field of service provider units that some countries have multiple organizations providing parallel services. The research results revealed that the custodians and units of providing health care in selected countries and Iranian organizations are different from one another. At the macro level, all the nations under study are governed by the government; but, at lesser levels, planning and execution are the responsibility of regional organizations, and the planning system is frequently decentralized and semi-centralized. There were several components to the health programs in each of the examined foreign nations and Iranian organizations. Each country had a different approach for identifying the objectives, but they all gave priority to this program's component when making plans. Additionally, there were common activities in all of the studied countries that helped achieve the program's objectives, but there were differences in how these activities were determined in the operational plans of the organizations and the countries under study. One of the elements of all the programs researched in Iranian organizations and abroad was monitoring and assessment.
Discussion and conclusion: It is thought that Iran has an edge over other nations due to its extensive network of medical facilities and the ability to plan and provide healthcare through comprehensive urban and rural health service centers, which can reduce planning parallelism. Given that centralized, semi-centralized, and decentralized planning all have benefits and drawbacks, it is recommended that each approach be used in accordance with the facilities already in place and local conditions rather than complicating things across the board.
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