Background and Objective
Outsourcing services to the private sector can be a step towards achieving the goals of community health promotion, job creation, better access to health services, and improving the quality of health services. In this regard, health service offices were established in Tehran to improve the health status of food preparation, distribution and sale centers and increase food safety based on government approval. This study aimed to evaluate the roles of health services offices on environmental health indicators.
Materials and Methods
In this descriptive-comparative study, nine health service offices supervised by Tehran University of Medical Sciences (located in South Tehran Health Center, Eslamshahr city, and Shahr-e Rey) were surveyed. Seven environmental health indicators measured in the years before the establishment of these Health Service Offices (2015-2017) were compared with those obtained after their establishment (2018-2019). The indicators data were analyzed using Excel, SPSS software, and statistical tests.
The result showed no significant difference in public places and centers for food preparation and distribution offenders, public places with health criteria, percentage of employees with a health training certificate, health care, and percentage of inspection coverage before and after establishment of health service offices (p >0.05). However, the relationship between the food preparation indicators and distribution centers with health criteria and public places and closed food preparation and distribution centers were significant (p > 0.05).
This study is one of the first researches conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of health services offices on health-safety indicators in Iran. Therefore, more comprehensive monitoring and studies should be done to evaluate these offices’ performance quality and their related cost-benefit analysis.