The coronavirus pandemic has been a living nightmare for many countries, with governments across the world forced to look at their healthcare system, especially their medical staff who are bearing the brunt.
Many countries have taken special measures to ensure the mental and physical health of key workers so that they can continue to take care of patients.
This is not the case in Iran. Medical staff get no special treatment. In fact, many of them with salaries of roughly $100 a month—four to five times under the official poverty line—have not been paid for several months, which Health Ministry officials have admitted.
Even state-run media has reported that over 90 percent of Iranian nurses are unhappy with their working conditions and salaries, which has led to many leaving the country or the profession in order to secure basic and safe working conditions.
“Now, we are seeing these nurses migrate to other countries… The Foreign Ministry is obligated to declare the exact number of migrating nurses. Unfortunately, nowadays we are seeing 250 daily nurses file petitions for migration to foreign countries,” said Armin Zare’ian, director of Iran’s Council of Nurses.
“Several factors lead to these requests, from exhaustion and fatigue due to eight months of continuous, around-the-clock work since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, to not receiving salaries and temporary employments which prevent nurses from enjoying insurance and many other benefits,” he added.
During the early days of the pandemic, the head of Iran’s Medical Council reported a 125,000-nurse shortage, with less than one nurse per hospital bed; something that has decreased sharply, putting more pressure on those who remain.
The secretary of the House of Nurses Organization reported last month that some 30,000 nurses were infected with COVID-19, which has definitely made the situation worse.
The problem is that, although this problem was known about for a while, the government has promised to do things and never followed through, including with the 10,000 nurses they promised to hire this year. They’ve not been hiring for years, even though roughly 3,500 nurses retire each year.
The state has failed to pay existing medical workers or hire new ones but they did have a spare 200 million euros to pay the terrorists affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and $1,800 per month per member of the Lebanese Hezbollah.
“The regime neglects the Iranian people’s needs, and especially nurses who are facing the coronavirus pandemic parallel skyrocketing high prices, This leaves them in harsh conditions due to poverty and Covid-19,” the Iranian Resistance wrote.