Iranian Hospitals Refuse to Treat Famous Artists, Producer Says

Hospitals in Iran are reluctant to admit well-known artists and celebrities as patients, according to the film producer Hamed Hosseini. “They ask the paramedics to return the patients to the hospital emergency room that they were originally taken to,” Mr. Hosseini said.

Hospitals fear legal action after the surgeon who had operated on the late filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016) was found guilty of negligence by a court in Tehran. Mohsen Khalil, Deputy Head of the Iran Medical Council (IRIMC), said July 1 that the court had issued a written reprimand that would be permanently registered on the surgeon’s professional record. The official cause of Mr. Kiarostami’s death has been listed as meningeal hemorrhage.

[aesop_image img=”×520.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Abbas Kiarostami. Source: The PlAYLIST,[Labeled for reuse]” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

Some hospitals in Tehran reportedly refused to treat screen actor and director Mehdi Fakhimzadeh after he was injured during the filming of Hosseini’s latest work. “We spoke to four hospitals before Iran-Mehr finally agreed to admit Fakhimzadeh, but only after some arm-twisting and using a few influential contacts,” Hosseini said. “The people at the first emergency room we took Fakhimzadeh to couldn’t wait for us to transfer him to another hospital.”

“Hospitals and clinics prefer not to treat famous artists and celebrities, fearing possible legal action against them and the negative publicity that might follow,” Hosseini noted. “It was only through dogged persistence that I was able eventually to find a hospital that would accept Fakhimzadeh as a patient. The whole of the Iranian medical profession is scared of treating famous artists and celebrities.”

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]