A Doctor’s Account of the Professional and Personal Lives of Colleagues
The head of the Association of Internal Medicine Specialists, emphasizing that around 15,000 to 25,000 physicians have not applied for licenses due to insufficient income and have turned to other jobs due to poverty, stated: Only 5% of doctors have high incomes. Although these statements by the representative of physicians are from 4 years ago, the situation has worsened now.
Ali Salheshur, “Representative of the Country’s Specialist Physicians Plan in the Medical System,” in an interview with the government news agency ILNA, reveals the realities present within the rule of the Supreme Leader. He states about the condition of young doctors: “Our main issue is financial problems. To put it simply, the salary of a specialist doctor working in a government hospital does not cover their basic living needs.”
Salheshur believes that the situation of some specialist doctors is not much different from other vulnerable sections of society. He explains that most doctors work in the public system and do not have significant incomes. In this context, he provides figures and says, “The only amount we can count on is the fixed salary, which is around 10 to 11 million tomans for single specialist doctors and around 13 to 14 million tomans for married specialist doctors.”
According to this specialist doctor, the salaries of doctors are paid around 8 to 13 months later, and freshly graduated specialists earn between 10 to 14 million tomans within a year. After this period, the total income of a married specialist doctor reaches a maximum of around 20 million tomans.
The Fall of Individuals with Incomes of 20 to 30 Million Tomans Below the Poverty Line
Salheshur explains the poverty line in detail. He states, “One of the parliament members declared the poverty line in Tehran as 30 million tomans in Khordad (May-June). Additionally, the cost of living basket, independently calculated by some experts, indicates a figure between 18 to 20 million tomans, which, according to labor activists, does not cover many of the expenses for a family of 3.3 members. These figures have been calculated by excluding some expenses from the cost of living basket.”
Given this, the fall of individuals with incomes of 20 to 30 million tomans below the poverty line is not surprising. If a doctor with a 20 million tomans income talks about falling below the standard of living and being unable to meet basic needs, it’s not unreasonable.