Pharma Platform & Podcast

Launched in 2023, Pharma Vision is a groundbreaking initiative that caters to the global pharmaceutical community through two exceptional platforms: the Pharma Vision Podcast and an interactive online platform.

Exclusive: An interview with the Minister of Health of KRG, Dr. Saman Barzangy

In the first episode of Pharma Vision Podcast, Anas Hawar, the host of the podcast, will interview Dr. Saman Barzangy, Minister of Health in the 9th Cabinet of Kurdistan Regional Government.

In this thrilling exclusive debut episode of the Pharma Vision Podcast, we had the privilege of sitting down with the esteemed Dr. Saman Barzangy, the Minister of Health of KRG. This insightful episode delved into the comprehensive projects and activities undertaken by the Ministry of Health in the 9th Cabinet of KRG over the past four years.

Dr. Saman Barzangy shed light on the challenges and triumphs faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing valuable insights into the transformation of the health sector in Kurdistan Region. The discussion covered a wide range of topics, from the latest healthcare projects initiated by the Minister to the importance of health insurance, digital health, and efficient data organization for patient care. Dr. Saman Barzangy also shared his visionary perspective on the pharmaceutical sector and the pivotal role of pharmacists in the region’s future. Tune in to this captivating episode to gain an in-depth understanding of the situations facing pharmacists regarding employment and the Ministry’s visionary project to address these challenges.

Note: The episode was recorded in Kurdish (Sorani).

Listen on:

1st Episode – Exclusive [Ku]: An interview with the Minister of Health of KRG, Dr. Saman Barzangy Pharma Vision Podcast

Discussed in this episode:

  • Biography of Dr. Saman Barzangy
  • Overview of the projects and activities of the Minister of Health of KRG in the 9th Cabinet of KRG during the past 4 years.
  • Handling the challenges and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health sector in Kurdistan Region.
  • Latest healthcare projects initiated by the Ministry, including health insurance and digital health advancements.
  • Importance of organizing patient data efficiently for enhanced healthcare delivery.
  • The Minister’s visionary perspective on the pharmaceutical sector and the future role of pharmacists in the region.
  • Addressing employment challenges faced by pharmacists and the Ministry’s project to tackle this issue.
  • Latest efforts of the Ministry to control medicines in the pharmacies, ensuring a safe medicine delivery to the patients.
  • The Minister’s suggestions and comments regarding the role of pharmacists in the region.

Brief of the episode in English

A Journey through Kurdistan’s Health and Pharmaceutical Sector

With: Dr. Saman Barzangy, Minister of Health of Kurdistan Regional Government

  • Host: Welcome to the inaugural episode of Pharma Vision, a Podcast and Platform discussing the latest trends in the pharmaceutical sector worldwide. Today, I am thrilled to interview Dr. Saman Barzangy, the Minister of Health of KRG. Welcome, Dr. Saman, to the Pharma Vision Podcast, and thank you for this opportunity.
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
  • Host: Dear Dr. Saman, as a tradition of Pharma Vision, we’d like to know more about your journey as the Minister of Health. When did you graduate, and how did you become a minister?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: I graduated in 2002 from the College of Medicine at Salahaddin University. After the revolution, I engaged in NGO and political activities, driven by my interest in serving the community of Kurdistan. My father’s involvement in Kurdistan organizations also influenced me. I began my career supervising resident physicians in hospitals while collaborating with international organizations to provide health services. Pursuing my passion for general health, I earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Community Medicine. My journey eventually led me to the position of General Director of Erbil Health Directorate and later to be appointed as the Minister of Health in the 9th Cabinet of KRG.
  • Host: Thank you for sharing your remarkable journey with us, Dr. Saman. Let’s shift our focus to the challenges faced by the 9th Cabinet of KRG, especially during the COVID pandemic. As the Minister of Health, how was your experience, and would you consider taking on the role again in the next Cabinet if you have been asked for that?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: Serving as the Minister of Health was a new experience for me, and I am grateful for the support of Prime Minister Mr. Masrour Barzani. During my tenure, we initiated several projects to benefit the healthcare sector long-term. For instance, we worked on implementing health insurance, organizing medicines, increasing the number of health centers, and fostering partnerships with international NGOs. Additionally, we represented Kurdistan Region in the WHO’s General Assembly in Geneva. I am proud of the achievements, and if given the opportunity in the future, I would gladly continue serving the community.
  • Host: Your dedication and achievements are commendable, Dr. Saman. Let’s delve into the health insurance project, which you mentioned earlier. Can you tell us when it will be implemented and how it will benefit the citizens?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: The health insurance project awaits approval from the Parliament of Kurdistan. Once activated, it will deliver healthcare services to all citizens regardless of their financial status, create a competitive environment among hospitals for better services, and serve as a government resource for management. It will also reduce the need for people to travel outside the region for healthcare services, making it more accessible and cost-effective.
  • Host: One of the new trending topics in health sector is the digital health, can you elaborate on your plans to implement digital health in the health sector of Kurdistan Region?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: Digitalization is a key goal of the 9th Cabinet of KRG, and we have made significant strides in several areas. For example, the administration system of Kurdistan Medicinal Control Agency (KMCA) is fully digital, including permission processes. We use nano-technology systems in chips on medicine stickers to ensure authenticity. Additionally, we are working on issuing a unique health card for every citizen, containing their health data for better organization. Furthermore, we have introduced a digital COVID card for vaccine verification. Going forward, we plan to implement projects like Drug Track Tracing to monitor medicines from entry to patient delivery.
  • Host: Let’s shift our focus to the pharmaceutical sector. How do you assess the current pharmaceutical situation in Kurdistan Region?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: I believe that pharmacists should play a more significant role in the region’s healthcare sector. While we face challenges, we have met with pharmacists to address their concerns. We aim to ensure that pharmacists have a vital role in healthcare services, and medications remain within their purview. We encourage their participation in healthcare centers, as well as pharmaceutical companies. Although we have faced some crises, we are working to improve the situation.
  • Host: The separation of pharmacists between the private and public sectors is an important topic. Can you elaborate on how this will be implemented?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: We have prepared a project to address the unemployment of pharmacists in the region. Separating pharmacists into private and public sectors will create new opportunities and provide a solution to the current situation.
  • Host: Another concern is the need for pharmacists to maintain their roles and responsibilities in pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. What steps are you taking to ensure their engagement?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: We actively encourage pharmacists to uphold their roles and responsibilities. It is crucial for them to maintain strong relationships with physicians and healthcare staff, ensuring that they play a pivotal role in the healthcare system. We are confident that upcoming projects will support the scientific knowledge of pharmacists, and the support of the Syndicate of Kurdistan Pharmacists has been invaluable.
  • Host: The recent guidelines regarding the regulations of medicines and stickers are a positive step. How do you view the impact of these new regulations?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: The new regulations have introduced innovative technologies to register medicines digitally. The stickers on medicines include anti-fraud nano-magnetic features that enhance citizens’ trust in the quality of medicines. It has been a positive step towards ensuring the authenticity and safety of medicines.
  • Host: Thank you, Dr. Saman, for sharing your insights and initiatives for the pharmaceutical sector. In conclusion, how do you envision the future of the pharmaceutical sector and the role of pharmacists in Kurdistan Region?
  • Dr. Saman Barzangy: Pharmacists have a significant responsibility concerning medicines, and we expect the new generation of pharmacists to play a vital role in the sector’s growth. We will continue to support their development and implement projects to regulate and monitor medication registration, ensuring the highest quality standards.
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