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The Health Sector in Jordan in the Transjordan Era

The following is a summary of the status of the health care sector and its development between the time period of 1921and 1946 i.e. the time period before Jordan was recognized as a Kingdom:

  • In 1921Mr. Math’har Basha Arasalan was recognized as the first health consultant to work in Jordan
  • Dr. Rida Tawfeq was appointed as head of the Jordanian healthcare sector in 1921.
  • Jordan’s first public hospital was established in Jordan in the year 1921, at the time the hospital housed 20 beds.
  • In the year 1925 Dr. Haleen Abu Rahmeh established the first regulatory department for the Jordanian
  • Health Sector and this department remained the first of its type until 1939.
  • In 1923 Transjordan saw the issuing of its first health law. This law was the law of hospital medicine
  • and was issued by the advisory council of the time.
  • His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah accredited the terms and conditions set forth for the
  • establishment of the Italian Hospital in the Salt area. On the 16th of February 1924.
  • Medical expenses incurred by the healthcare departments of Transjordan amounted to 4991 sterling pounds
  • In 1924 the city of Jerusalem saw the establishment of its first medical lab.
  • Jordan’s first pharmacy was launched in Amman in 1925.
  • The first regulatory health law was decreed in Transjordan in the year 1926
  • This law was implemented in Jordan until 1971.
  • The first set of regulations pertaining to the government run health institutions was issued in 1926.
  • An operational system was devised for the running of health institutions, and regulations were especially
  • devised for sectors working in fields that pose a health threat to their employees. Instructions were even
  • posed to prevent people from working in such fields and for the payment of compensation fees in this regard.
  • In 1926 a law was issued for fighting malaria and in the same year another law was issued calling for the correct usage of dangerous medications.
  • 28 male and female health specialists were working in Jordan by the year 1926 This number reached 39 by the end of 1927
  • By the year 1927 the number of beds available in government run hospitals reached a total of 60 and in private hospitals they reached 99.

Despite hard conditions Jordan passed due to Palestine catastrophe and its negative health sequences in 1948 and 1967-, comprehensive health prosperity occurred during 40 years, and great achievements in medical field had been done.
But we can say that the real health prosperity in Jordan, occurred after country independence, establishment of the hashimate kingdom of Jordan, and union of the two banks of Jordan River.

Health prosperity in Jordan passed several phases as follows:

  • The first ministry of health had been established On December 14th, 1950 .

  • MOH started its responsibilities In 1951, which considered the beginning of health prosperity in Jordan.
  • Establishment of six departments in the kingdom districts ,related to the central management of MOH , in which the head of each department was a physician.
  • The fist nursing college was opened In 1953 .
  • The physician union/association had been established In 1954.
  • The central laboratory for medical tests had been established In 1955.
  • Nursing college of Princess Mona had been established In 1962.
  • The first health insurance system in the kingdom had been implemented among force army members In1963.
  • The first civil health insurance system was implemented in the kingdom In 1965.
  • A medicine faculty was established in Jordan University In 1970.
  • Public health law number 43 for 1966 was replaced by Public health law, number 21 for 1971.
  • The medical Hussein City was inaugurated In 1973.
  • Publish of high health council system, number 60, for 1977.
  • The allied medical professions institute was inaugurated in Irbid In 1978.
  • A pharmacy faculty was inaugurated in Jordan University In 1980.

The Ministry of Health undertakes all health affairs in the Kingdom and its tasks and duties include:

  • Maintaining public health by offering preventive, treatment and health control services.
  • Organizing and supervising health services offered by the public and private sectors.
  • Providing health insurance for the public within available means.
  • Establishing and controlling the management of health educational and training institutes and centers according to relevant provisions of the legislations enacted.

The Ministry, in coordination with concerned parties, works to achieve the following:

The Ministry also works to:

  • Encourage healthy patterns and behaviors including physical activities, healthy diets and anti-smoking campaigns and other practices scientifically proven to improve health.
  • Raise public health standards by fighting diseases resulting from malnutrition through adding nutrients like iodine, iron and vitamins to foods, or by changing their components, or by banning marketing food
  • substances that are hazardous to one’s health.
  • Encourage natural child nursing and ban promoting alternatives to breast-feeding. To this end, the Ministry has the right to stop commercials by any means of the media and control the production, design
  • and publication of such materials.
  • Provide necessary services for mother and child care during pregnancy, birth, pre and post-natal periods and child growth. Along this line,
  • the Ministry also administers vaccines and promotes family planning campaigns.
  • Mandatory pre-marital medical testing. Terms and conditions of this test are determined by the acts issued according to provisions of this law. Failing that, no marriage contract will commence.
  • The Ministry also works to:
  1. Provide preventive health services to children in public schools kindergartens and nurseries.
  2. Provide and extend health services to some non-government schools, kindergartens and nurseries orenforce offering them under the supervision of the Ministry.
  • Implement and control health programs for the old and supervise health conditions of senior citizens’homes and institutes.
  • Control the professional environment and health conditions of workers at factories and industrialinstitutes to ensure their health and safety.
  • Implement health programs and activities to fight non-contagious spreading diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and other similar diseases constituting a threat to public.

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