A former dean and lecturer in Islamic studies appointed head of a paramedical faculty in Iran has resigned after a barrage of social-media criticism.
Hossein Jalaei Nobari has stepped down from the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, the university announced on Friday.
Cyberspace critics had argued there was a mismatch between Nobari’s experience as a dean-cum-theology teacher and the requirements of the post. Some argued it was wrong to appoint seminary graduates to manage in the health sector. In much of Europe and the United States, while many health managers have no background as doctors, there are specialist health managers that are rare in the Middle East and North Africa. But there have been reports in Iranian media about many doctors leaving the country because of economic and social restrictions.
The social-media reactions were followed by Health and Medical Education Minister Bahram Eynollahi writing to presidents of medical universities -- without mentioning Nobari – urging them to post "graduates of medical sciences" in managerial positions.
Earlier in March, the Tehran University of Medical Sciences appointed Mahmoud Eshtiaghi, a maddah or religious ‘reciter’ with no medical experience, as the head of the Bahrami Children's Hospital. Maddahs participate in anniversaries or funeral ceremonies and chant songs praising Islamic figures.
Since President Ebrahim Raisi took office last August there have been more controversial appointments based on family, social or political ties.