The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that one of the challenges facing Iran’s health system these days is a significant scarcity of medical experts, which is becoming increasingly apparent during the coronavirus crisis.
New realities in the health system
A look at the number of physicians per capita in Iran exposes new realities in the health system as well as a monopoly in this field.
According to the Organization of the Medical System’s statistics, Iran has 45,233 specialist physicians or 5.3 physicians per 10,000 people. This means that there are fewer than six expert doctors per 10,000 citizens in Iran, compared to more than 20 experts per 10,000 people in many developed countries and even regional states.
The lack of specialists
The lack of specialists is more apparent in extreme situations such as the Covid-19 outbreak; a lack of available personnel to address the situation of patients on the one hand, and increased pressure on medical staff on the other, leads to critical times in which the health system is not resilient to the disease and the quality of medical services suffers.
In addition to the negative effects on the health system, the low per capita number of physicians in the country leads to a decline in people’s access to medical services and a reduction in total spent visiting patients; an issue that many Iranians are talking about about about these days.
Iran’s worst impacted areas
Sistan and Baluchestan province is one of Iran’s worst impacted areas. Saravan, the country’s furthest or easternmost city, is one of the worst-affected areas due to a doctor shortage.
Saravan is 250 kilometres from Zahedan, the province’s capital, where professional and sub-specialized medical services are available. People are obliged to go on subways between Saravan and Khash to see a doctor, which has a high rate of accidents.
People from Bam Posht county, which is in Saravan’s area, travel to Pakistan to see a doctor.
Two doctors for every 10,000 people
In the last few years, 80 per cent of cases, the centres in this region where three doctors should be housed have only had one doctor.
There are two doctors for every 10,000 people in Saravan. The presence of two doctors per capita is precarious, and doctors are not permanently housed in these locations.
The statistics that the Ministry of Health only indicates the number of doctors that are in a specific place, whoever, they do not mention the real availability of these specialists. The minimum standard visit time is approximately 15 minutes, although a doctor’s appointment in Iran takes less than five minutes on average.
Destroying the health and social care infrastructure
Sirkan, another county roughly 250 kilometres or three hours away from Saravan, has only one doctor. In the province’s border areas, such as Keshtegan and Dehshk, there are also clinics that are vacant.
Today the misguided policies established by the regime are destroying the health and social care infrastructure.
In the coronavirus era, the health personnel are suffering the most with a ridiculous amount of workload and lack of resources, which ultimately is reflected in the welfare of the Iranian people.