A member of Iranian healthcare professional community

IRGC Commander Dismisses Doctor Exodus as ‘Psychological Warfare’

Sunday, 05/19/2024

The spokesman for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards dismissed the exodus of doctors as "enemy pretexts for psychological operations" against Iran in a bid to downplay the crisis.

Speaking on Sunday, Ramadan Sharif said “They [enemies] overlook tens of thousands of doctors who have been active from the time of the [Iraq] war through the peak of sanctions, the COVID era, and other sectors up to today.”

Earlier in the month, Iraj Fazel, president of the Iranian Society of Surgeons and former Minister of Health, issued a warning, saying Iran might soon need to import medical specialists and send patients abroad for treatment if the trend of doctor migration continues.

Fazel highlighted the economic crisis plaguing medical students and noted a troubling decline in medical degree applications.

The migration of healthcare professionals has reached alarming levels with Hossein Ali Shahriari, head of the parliament’s Health and Medical Commission, reporting that around 10,000 specialists have sought employment abroad over the past two years, predominantly in Arab countries. The situation prompted calls for an official ban on doctor migration last December.

The crisis is compounded by the economic hardships faced by healthcare workers, many of whom earn a meager $200 to $300 a month in long hours and poor conditions, significantly impacting their mental health. The Iranian Psychiatric Association has reported an increase in suicide rates among medical residents, with 16 known suicides occurring in the past year alone. 

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