The phenomenon of migration of Iranian nurses to other countries already existed, but with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the gap between the employment status and welfare of nurses in Iran and abroad deepened and the rate of migration of nurses abroad increased.
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis last year, nurses have shown that they are at the forefront of public health in the fight against this great pandemic – a fight which would not have been possible without the presence of nurses.
During this period, nurses showed many sacrifices in different countries of the world, including Iran, and as health heroes, they were able to establish their position in defending the health of society and show their important role in combating diseases; however, unfortunately, some of them lost their lives in this way.
With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, various countries, including in the West and the Middle East, were in dire need of nurses and provided many facilities for nurses.
This was one of the main reasons of the migration of Iran’s nurses to other countries. There is a huge difference of quality in facilities and advantages between Iran with those countries.
Although there are no exact statistics on this, it is said that about a thousand nurses emigrate from Iran every year with the motivation of finding better job opportunities and more welfare.
Nurses have been educated for many years and have gained valuable experience and losing them causes serious damage to the health system, which is very difficult to compensate. Iran trains about 10,000 nurses annually, and due to the retirement of many nurses and the growing need of the health system for nurses, the crisis of shortage of nurses is intensifying day by day, and this shortage has a great impact on the quality of nursing services.
Lack of nursing staff on the one hand and the occupation of most hospital beds by the COVID-19 patients on the other hand has caused physical and mental exhaustion of nurses.
Iran’s officials of the Program and Budget Organization and the President made several promises to pay special attention to nurses and solve their problems, and even the regime’s Supreme Leader emphasized on addressing the accumulated demands of nurses, but in practice there was no concrete action in this regard.
The Coronavirus bonus which was promised to the nurses alongside their regular wages was just for the government’s propaganda and was very little and it can even be said that the amounts paid were an insult to the nurses. Reducing working hours was another promise that was made, but not kept, to many of the nurses who worked in hospitals dealing with Covid patients, which caused great dissatisfaction.
A recruitment test was to be held and a significant number of nurses were to be recruited, but the fate of this recruitment test is still unknown and has stopped in Iran’s corrupted bureaucracy cycle.
The country’s medical universities employ many 89-day contract nurses, and it was recently said that they are employed on a one-year basis, but the government has a free hand to expel them anytime it wants.
And so far, the law on nursing tariffs, which was promised many times, is still being passed between the parliament and the government and has not been implemented.
More than 50,000 nurses have become infected with the coronavirus. So, the priority should vaccinate nurses, i.e., those who are at the forefront of providing health services to patients.
While it has been a long time since vaccination began, the government’s negligence and mismanagement in this area has meant that many nurses have not yet received the coronavirus vaccine.