By Jubin Katiraie
Iran’s clerical regime has fired nurses at some hospitals on the eve of Health Week, while nurses were among the victims of the coronavirus in Iran and one of the most affected people in the country.
The efforts of doctors, nurses, and medical staff in each country have brought tears to the eyes of the people for those who risk their lives to save others. They spend hours and nights in the hospital to save lives without caring about their own families, and of course, this is commendable.
But in a country where human life is a “second priority”, the equations are different.
The number of coronavirus victims among medical personnel in Iran has reached more than 110. And 1,600 also are infected by the coronavirus. Nurses like Narges Khanalizadeh who sacrificed her life to save other people.
This is undoubtedly worthy of the highest praise. Words are incapable of expressing appreciation for their efforts. The Iranian people respected their efforts at home, in the neighborhood, in the hospital, in cyberspace, and wherever they went.
But what did the regime with the nurses? Dismissing them from work and calling it balancing was the answer of the regime to those who are at the front line of this fight. And this came exactly before the so-called health week and announced the second day of this week as the day of the “Doctors, nurses and the family of the health system against coronavirus”.
The Ministry of Health declared this year’s slogan “public support for health advocates” and added, “The first two days are dedicated to appreciating the sacrifices of health workers, doctors, and nurses.”
But, when the nurses protested the officials act on firing them, the regime’s Deputy Minister of Health replied, “Be patient with each other.”
People working in the anesthesia, nursing, and surgery room were the first victims of the dismissals.
Mohsen Hatami, a member of the board of directors of the Shiraz Nursing System, referring to the dismissals in hospitals in Fars province said: “Some nurses call us and cry. They don’t even have the money for the rent of their house, but they settled with them in February.”
He added that the nurse of one of the hospitals in Shiraz, after protesting the non-observance of health requirements, has seen her name in the list of settlement accounts.
“On 26 March, I was told I was on leave until I was notified again,” wrote an ICU nurse at a hospital in Tehran. A similar message was given to 30 other colleagues of the nurse. Most of those who have been suspended have not protested, hoping that the situation will be temporary.
A nurse at Milad Hospital in Tehran said the hospital said, “They are paid only the equivalent of every day they come to work. That means that they made them as daily workers.”
It has been reported from Ilam that the wages of the doctors of this city’s hospital have been unpaid for 13 months and the wages of its nurses have been unpaid for seven months.
On April 20, Mohammad Mirza Beigi, head of the Nursing System Organization, wrote a letter to the Minister of Health regarding the dismissal of nurses and said: “Such a thing is surprising; and that in the hospitals that have been for many years, with the help of the efforts of dear nurses and with the help of heavy tariffs and multiplicity of services and health care, billions of tomans of profit and income have been earned by respected shareholders and officials of such hospitals.”
The answer of Rouhani’s Deputy Minister of Health, Iraj Haririchi, was surprising: “The private sector all over the world is subject to its own economic considerations, and all over the world, many private sectors have adjusted their forces, and we have nothing to do with that. We can only advise private hospitals to tolerate each other during difficult times.”
Perhaps this statement of Mohammad Sharifi Moghadam, Secretary-General of the Nursing Home, reveals the purpose of such a response: “It should not be forgotten that a large number of officials and policymakers in the field of treatment themselves are on the board of trustees of private hospitals.”
Sharifi Moghaddam also told ILNA on 13 April: “The government has put pressure on most nurses with 89-day hiring, which has also increased in recent days. 89-day employment contracts are uninsured. Medical Sciences Hospitals do not make 90 days contract, because they do not want to make contracts a subject of rights and other benefits, so instead, they are making such contracts with the nurses. Hospitals affiliated with medical universities have repeatedly had the same dismissals and adjustments.”