Iranian Medical System in Crisis as Doctor Suicides Rise Amid Mismanagement and Strenuous Workloads

Iran's medical system faces a crisis as doctor suicides rise alarmingly, driven by factors like overwork, burnout, and migration of healthcare professionals, threatening the country's healthcare system.

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Iranian Medical System in Crisis as Doctor Suicides Rise Amid Mismanagement and Strenuous Workloads

Iranian Medical System in Crisis as Doctor Suicides Rise Amid Mismanagement and Strenuous Workloads

The Iranian medical system is facing a major crisis as the number of doctor suicides continues to rise at an alarming rate. Seyed Mohammad Mirkhani, the Social Advisor of the Medical System Organization in Iran, has expressed grave concern over the situation, stating that the suicide rate among doctors has reached a critical level and may soon surpass rates seen in other countries.

Mirkhani attributes this troubling trend to years of mismanagement in Iranian medicine, citing factors such as strenuous workloads, intense patient interactions, and challenging hospital environments as key contributors to the mental health decline among doctors. The exhausting night shifts, which can last up to 72 hours, have been identified as particularly harmful to doctors' well-being.

The state-run Hame-Mihan newspaper has reported on the issue, highlighting the factors driving doctors and nurses to resign or consider leaving their jobs. These include heavy workloads, manpower shortages, lack of respect in the workplace, and being required to perform tasks beyond the scope of their duties. The Deputy Nursing Department of the Ministry of Health has confirmed the reports of nurses quitting, with the secretary-general of the 'Nurse House' announcing a 15% quitting rate among nurses, which is considered 'alarming.'

The issue of migration among nurses has also gained momentum, with the head of the National Nursing Organization stating that the minimum migration rate of nurses per year is 2,700. Analysts see these events as indicative of a looming major crisis in the healthcare sector, with the regime's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, reportedly apprehensive about the social and political consequences of this crisis.

Why this matters: The rising number of doctor suicides and the exodus of healthcare professionals in Iran underscore the severity of the crisis facing the country's medical system. If left unaddressed, this situation could have far-reaching consequences for the health and well-being of the Iranian population, as well as potential social and political ramifications.

Resident doctors, who are medical school graduates in training, are among the most affected by the current crisis. They are overworked, underpaid, and often subjected to humiliation by their seniors, leading many to harbor suicidal thoughts or consider moving abroad. In the Iranian year ending on March 19, 16 resident doctors committed suicide, up from 13 the previous year. Experts warn that if the government continues to ignore the plight of young physicians, the country's healthcare system could collapse.

Key Takeaways

  • Iran faces a crisis as doctor suicide rates rise alarmingly.
  • Factors include heavy workloads, intense patient interactions, and challenging hospital environments.
  • Nurses also quitting at an alarming 15% rate, with migration of 2,700 per year.
  • Resident doctors most affected, with 16 suicides in the past year.
  • Experts warn healthcare system could collapse if government ignores the crisis.