Introduction: The Targeted Subsidies Law (TSL) was implemented in 2010 with a platform of improving equity in the Iran’s society. One of the objectives of the TSL was improving equity in Healthcare Financing (HCF), but a significant change has not occurred since then. The aim of this study was to analyze the challenges of the TSL to equity in the HCF in Iran. 

Methods: In this interpretive qualitative study, 31 policy makers and health system experts were interviewed face to face from September 2014 to June 2015. A purposeful and snowball sampling method was used to select participants. Also, a document analysis was conducted on upstream documents. Assisted by MAXQDA 10, recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed based on Framework Approach. 

Results: Content analysis identified two themes and five sub-themes. Lack of justice in the healthcare system and lack of equity in the total socioeconomic structure of Iran were sub-themes identified as barriers to equity in HCF. Shortcomings in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of the TSL were sub-themes identified as barriers in the policy process. The TSL did not achieve its intended objectives in the health sector because of the above- mentioned barriers,

Conclusion: The TSL, according to established goals, had no effect on the equity in HCF in Iran because of problems in the structure of the health system, socioeconomic status, and the policy process. To reach a more equitable HCF, it is advised that, when defining the related policies, various barriers be considered, such as those identified in our research.


Keywords: government subsidy, healthcare financing, health planning support, policy making, socioeconomic factors
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