On Sunday, November 22, employees of a healthcare company in Yazd province held a rally, protesting systematic discrimination. In their rally in front of the provincial governorate office, they also demanded their unpaid and delayed salaries.
Protesters also urged the Health Ministry to dissolve healthcare companies. According to employees, these companies are out of the labor law’s framework. On the other hand, protesters said that the company has deprived them of 50 percent of pensions that the article 10th of civil service management law granted them.
“We have not the right to the company’s parking. We never received welfare facilities, overtime, and incentives so far,” protesting personnel explained.
Currently, more than 900 employees are working in such companies and as contract personnel. In the past nine months—since the Covid-19 disease began in Iran—, they were working alongside official medical staff in different hospitals and medical centers.
Covid-19 Death Toll Break All Records in Yazd Province
Furthermore, in parallel with the start of the autumn season, coronavirus fatalities have dramatically increased and broken all records. In the past week, the government’s failure in containing the health crisis and politicians’ interference in medical issues led two high-ranking officials to resign from the Health Ministry.
On November 20, Reza Malekzadeh, Deputy Health Minister, and Ali Nobakht, advisor to the Health Minister, resigned in protest of the government’s failures in combating the health crisis. In their resignation letters to Health Minister Saeed Namaki, they openly blamed him for the rampant rise of the death toll.
Former Sciences Minister and current head of Iran’s Supreme Medical Council Mostafa Moeen also blamed the Health Ministry for unscientific methods and medicine. “Negligence regarding the consequences of unscientific measures and authorizations by the Health Ministry are the mediums that lead to various issues such as Islamic, traditional or Iranian medicine that literally plays with people’s lives while they are scientifically unfounded,” Hamshahri daily quoted him on November 22.
Notably, Yazd is among the Iranian worst-hit provinces with a death rate higher than the national average. During recent months, physicians and nurses of the public sector time and again launched rallies, demanding their arrears.
Alongside medical staff in the provinces of Khuzestan, Kerman, Markazi, Lorestan, Razavi Khorasan, and Western Azarbaijan, healthcare workers in Yazd held several rallies in front of the provincial governorate.
Employees of Contract Healthcare Companies Demand the Health Ministry Intervene
The situation of employees of Yazd healthcare company is the tip of the iceberg. Healthcare workers of contract companies believe their employers are working out of law and exploiting them.
In this context, these selfless people have demanded the Health Ministry to dissolve these companies many times. These companies deprive their personnel of their minimum rights while the Health Ministry and its subordinates give a salary that is several-fold more than contract employees’ paychecks.
Of course, all contract medical staff face similar problems. Previously, the head of Tehran’s Covid-19 Task Force Alireza Zali demanded the health ministry to hire these healthcare workers officially.
Hassan Rouhani’s administration initially accepted the plan and announced it would hire at least 3,000 of whom. However, after several months, the plan remained on the paper and has yet to implement.