As Iranian doctors are emigrating to other countries in droves, the health ministry has increased the exit permit bond for medical, dental and pharmacy students to $5,000 per year.
Deputy minister for education at the health ministry, Abolfazl Bagherifard, said on Monday that students in graduate levels should provide 1.5 billion rials ($5,000) to leave the country for a year and undergraduate levels should provide bonds worth $2,000.
Students must provide an official letter of commitment to return as well as another person's guarantee by depositing a real estate bond or a bank guarantee.
Officials and lawmakers are warning that Iran may be forced to hire foreign doctors as Iranian physicians are leaving in high numbers. Dr Mohammad Raeeszadeh, the head of Medical Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, recently warned that wrong government policies is causing disillusionment among young medical practitioners and could lead to a wave of emigration or change of career among them.
Earlier in the year in April, Iran's Medical Council said about 4,000 doctors have applied for Certificates of Good Standing in the past 12 months with the intent to leave the country. Council spokesman Reza Laripour said that the annual number of such applications was less than 600 between 2013 and 2015.
An opinion survey conducted in August indicated that almost half of Iranian youth want to leave the country amid pessimism about their future.