Gradual deaths of medical staff after the fourth wave of the Coronavirus in Iran
Suicide of young medical interns – excessive workload and exploitative laws
The mullahs’ regime uses the deadly Coronavirus to kill the Iranian people deliberately. The high number of people infected with the virus and the need for medical care have put excessive strain on medical staff. In this regard, a news item on state media in May caught every observer’s attention with the headline, “Suicide of young medical interns.”
According to media reports, the identities and personal information of the young medical interns who committed suicide are being protected. It is unclear how many of them are women.
Residents are medical assistants who work in Iranian hospitals, primarily under the supervision of medical universities.
These young doctors suffer from many factors, such as low salaries, lack of insurance, unfair contracts, extreme pressure, long shifts, and acute insomnia.
Main cause of death or suicide of young medical interns
The main question is, “What causes the death of young interns, or drives them to suicide?”
Arman Melli, a state-run newspaper, wrote on May 5, 2021, “According to some officials and the media, three medical assistants (interns) committed suicide in the hospital over the past 10 days. All three were graduates of the University of Medical Sciences. “
“Accurate information has not yet been gathered, and an investigation into the deaths of the interns is underway,” said Hossein Kermanpour, public relations director of the Medical System Organization.
The newspaper also acknowledged, “There is a reason for this, and that is the mental and physical pressure on the medical staff, who have been struggling with the Coronavirus outbreak, including four waves of the virus, for more than a year. Their mental and physical problems have intensified every time for various reasons, including 89-day contracts, non-payment of minimum requirements, working consecutive shifts, being away from family and children, severe staff shortages, and the deaths of patients” (The state-run Arman Melli Newspaper – May 5, 2021).
Ali Nikjoo, a psychologist, tweeted about suicide of young medical interns: “The serial suicide of interns is a painful tragedy. Iranian talent has either left the country, become passive in a corner, endure the hardships of life, or end their lives in such a tragic way.”
Exploitation of interns by law
Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam, Secretary-General of the House of Nurses, commented on the exploitative laws that apply to young interns in hospitals.
“To complete their training, they have to spend a lot of time reading and watching training videos on the Internet and even perform surgeries this way. This increases their stress. High pressure to complete trainings and, of course, very low salaries (between 2 to 3 million Tomans approx. $475 to 575) cause a lot of psychological damage for interns (The state-run ROKNA news agency – May 4, 2021).” Sharifi Moghaddam also stressed, “these people do not have advocates who could protect their rights, and they are being discriminated against.”
In a letter to the regime’s Minister of Health, the country’s medical student union councils reported that four medical assistants had committed suicide in Tehran during the first two weeks of May. In the letter, the union councils demanded an investigation and referred to “exploitative laws and coercive instructions” against interns. They also wrote that “interns with reduced rights and long shifts, with a salary of two million Tomans a month, are on duty for dozens of nights” (The state-run IMNA website- May 8, 2021).
History of suicide among young interns
Ali Pezeshki, Secretary of the Union Council of Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, reported the suicide of an orthopedic intern at Taleghani Hospital. The young intern had to be on duty for 96 hours, or 4 days (The state-run ANA website- January 7, 2020).
Another intern, Fatemeh A., was a student of Jundishapur Medical University in Ahvaz. She killed herself by swallowing a deadly pill. The next morning, her family found her lifeless body in her room. One of Fatemeh’s female classmates said that in the past 8 years, 5 people had committed suicide and lost their lives at the university (The state-run Khabaronline News Agency – December 17, 2019).
The main reasons for burnout and the deaths of interns and nurses in Iran can be attributed to the excessive workload and exploitative laws.