From about 300 medical staff who have been killed so far by the coronavirus in Iran, 160 persons were doctors. And until now of nearly half of this number, their families have not received any government support. In such a dramatic situation whereby doctors and medical staffs whose value for a country is priceless have no support, they will lose their motivation to continue their work.
Iran’s medical council has about 320,000 members in all fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, midwifery, and physiotherapy. Of this population, about 140,000 are members of the medical community who have studied in various specialties.
The shortage of physicians varies in different parts of the country and the territorial arrangements. That is, there are many doctors in one place and a shortage of doctors in another.
Therefore, proper organization and distribution of physicians from any field in different places should be done and this requires sufficient support, by the government which is not fulfilled in any government in the past 40 years.
The shortage of doctors in deprived areas is more obvious due to this inattention. Many doctors did not accept to relocate with their families to such areas, because they will face harder livelihood conditions which of course will affect their performance and capability.
Many people who have decided to study medicine because of the lack of a bright future did not choice any specialization course.
For example, sometimes even one-third of the announced capacity of fields such as emergency medicine and anesthesia of the universities is not filled, which means that there is no bright social and economic future for the people therefore they prefer to either migrate to another country or drop out of school.
Another subject that has become a problem in Iran’s medical community is the lack of family doctors, therefore the structure of the medical system is weak. Despite the longstanding existence of this project, many areas in various cities of Iran do have not a family doctor.
For example, in Tehran, many people are referring directly to the specialist which has crippled the medical system, while the doctors are flooded with patients and cannot care for them. And this trend has increased health care costs.
Due to the many shifts especially at night, that due to the coronavirus has become more difficult, residency has become a difficult and painstaking time. And if there is no bright future, the graduate doctors will face disappointment and depression.
And other graduates are looking at those who are graduated before them, and if they see that those people do have not the right working conditions or are looking to leave the country, naturally, they will lose their hope too, and stop studying.
In such a condition the rate of emigration application has increased during these times, and this also goes back to work, social and economic conditions.
The medical society has a stage where people come to apply for a special certificate, which is one of the emigration procedures, and these requests are increasing. The country is now facing about 3,000 applications a year, indicating the degree of willingness to emigrate.
The economy of health in Iran is very poor which means that the government has not the decision to spend on the health of the people and therefore not enough fund has relocated from the country’s GDP into the health arena. Therefore, it is natural that the working motivation is eliminated and the quality of treatment decreases.
The question which arises here is how many shares of health will the government put in place for insurance and hospitals? If this share is not proportional to inflation growth, naturally the quality of treatment decreases. Another thing is that the wages and rights of many of those working in the coronavirus sector have not yet been paid, while Iran is facing the worst virus spread among all other countries in the region. This is while official statistics speak of 600 deaths per day, and many patients who die have been not tested therefore they do not come in statistics.