Iranian Nurse Commits Suicide In Rising Trend Among Medics

Tuesday, 04/09/2024

A young nurse has committed suicide after being made redundant from Kermanshah's Imam Khomeini Hospital amid a national health crisis in Iran with increasing numbers of suicides facing the profession.

The death of the man identified only as Sasan, 32, was confirmed by Mohammad Sharifi Moghadam, the Secretary-General of the Nursing Association. Sasan worked in the hospital's poisoning department which specializes in suicide attempts.

Since the pandemic, the health crisis has faced huge challenges with many in the medical profession leaving Iran to find work abroad. Experts have dubbed it an exodus which has left the profession with dire shortages.

Sharifi Moghadam criticized the negligence towards the demands of the nursing profession following the conclusion of the coronavirus pandemic, noting that many contract nurses were laid off during the period with no care taken to support them.

He said that during the pandemic, almost one third of nurses reported suicidal thoughts, a trend which continued amidst the country's ongoing economic crisis and social oppression.

Blaming the government for poor working conditions such as overwhelming workloads, poor pay and a lack of career opportunities, he said, "The field is stressful for nurses, and all officials share responsibility for creating such an atmosphere."

The alarming trend of suicides among medical students, nurses and doctors has garnered increasing attention, as evidenced by numerous reports in recent years. A study carried out by a psychiatric association last year revealed a substantial increase in suicide rates within the medical community, ranging from 3.1 to 5 times higher compared to previous periods. 

However, these will only be the reported cases, many not being attributed to suicide as it is forbidden in Islam. In February, the president of the Iranian Psychiatric Scientific Association disclosed that 16 medical residents had ended their lives within the past year alone.

Last May, MP Hossein Ali Shahriari, chairman of the Iranian parliament's Health and Treatment Committee, said around 10,000 healthcare practitioners have left Iran over the past two years to work in the Arab world seeking better opportunities. 

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