The labor force in Iran has always faced much negligence. This problem is not limited to one class and is not related just to a situation with serious conditions. However, sometimes some problems and difficulties intensify in a period.
Like the situation of nurses these days who, with all the existing problems, physical, and spiritual shortcomings, try to save the people.
In the coronavirus crisis, nurses are at the forefront of the struggle, alone, without any support from official institutions. Even the Ministry of Health does not want to use its capacity to improve the situation of this stratum of Iranian society.
The number of nurses in Iran per patient is equal to the average of underdeveloped countries. Iran has one and a half nurses per thousand patients.
According to the global average, this number should be more than 3 people. It is worth mentioning that in the final months of last year, the Ministry of Health initially decided to increase the number of nurses to 40,000, but eventually announced that only 13,000 people were recruited.
Although this number is insufficient, it can relieve nurses of the burden, yet they have not been absorbed into the labor force, and it is unclear when they will enter the field of fighting the coronavirus.
The Secretary-General of the House of Nurses and the Deputy Head of the Iranian Nursing Organization believes that if the Ministry of Health is involved in faction disputes and profiteering, it cannot be hoped that the situation of nurses in Iran will change much.
In the last days of its responsibility, Rouhani’s government approved a “tariff” to improve the situation of nurses in cooperation with the Supreme Insurance Council in the cabinet. But it has not reached the implementation stage yet.
While Iran has reached the fifth peak of the coronavirus and many predict a super-critical situation, all the pressure is on the medical staff, especially the nurses. According to the reports, the mental condition of the nurses is not good, and they are suffering from excessive anxiety and stress due to the work environment.
Imagine when you see a coronavirus patient on the street, you walk away fearing that you will be not infected, but the nurses are only a few centimeters away from the patients who are in poor condition. This indicates the peak of stress among the medical staff.
Wage reward, which was one of the demands of nurses in the past, is still very small and no one is asking for the 100,000 to 200,000 tomans anymore, but we criticize the authorities for paying for overtime.
Due to the shortage of nurses, they are forced to stay longer in hospitals and receive about 15,000 tomans per hour for working overtime. In this situation, this amount not only is not enough but also making the nurses’ activities ineffective. It should be mentioned that even this small amount is transferred to the nurses’ account with a delay.
The Ministry of Health system in governments does not change much and only high-ranking officials are replaced. From the beginning of the 90s, when treatment in Iran became paid, a mafia was formed in the Ministry of Health that cares only about their financial interests, and the ministry and its deputies are introduced by this group, which leaves no room to pay attention to nurses’ demands.
Given the current situation of the coronavirus in Iran, the structure of the Ministry of Health has all but collapsed.