Members of Iranian healthcare professional community

Iran Will be Forced to Import Doctors Amid Exodus, Warns Expert

Wednesday, 05/08/2024

Iraj Fazel, the president of the Iranian Society of Surgeons and former Minister of Health, warned that if the exodus of doctors continues, Iran will be forced to import specialists and send patients abroad.

Fazel attributed the shortage to the economic struggles facing medical students and the government's educational policies. He said the number of students applying for medical degrees is also in decline.

“In the latest rounds, we observed no candidates for vascular surgery, and other specialties also saw similar vacancies,” Fazel explained, painting a grim picture of the future of Iranian medicine.

The sentiment was echoed by Mohammad Raiszadeh, the head of the Iranian Medical Council.

“The rate of job migration among doctors is even higher than the general emigration from the country,”he said.

Hossein Ali Shahriari, head of the parliament’s Health and Medical Commission, reported that around 10,000 Iranian specialists have sought jobs abroad in the past two years, primarily heading to Arab nations. The trend was so concerning that there were official calls in December to ban doctors from migrating abroad.

Compounded by the economic hardships faced by healthcare workers, who earn as little as $200 to $300 a month, the situation has also impacted their mental health. The Iranian Psychiatric Association reported an increase in suicide rates among medical residents, with 16 suicides in the past year alone.

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