Iran orders fresh 50% wage hike for nurses amid pandemic

The Iranian government has announced that nurses in hospitals and care homes across the country would see their wages increase by another 50 percent with immediate effect amid various support schemes introduced by authorities to help the healthcare system cope with the surging number of coronavirus patients.

Kamel Taghavinejad, a deputy health minister, announced the pay rises on Sunday which coincided with the National Day of Nurse in Iran.

The announcement came following a televised speech by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in which the leader emphasized the need for more support for nurses and health staff during the pandemic.

Taghavinejad said that wages of Iranian nurses had increased for the first time during the pandemic in March when the country reported the first cases of the virus.

He said with the two pay hikes implemented, nominal nursing wages would double to a range between 70 million rials ($280) per months for new recruits to 100 million rials ($400) for more experienced staff. Nurses would be compensated for extra work related to the pandemic by nearly 25 percent of their wages, he said.

Iran has significantly increased funding for the health sector this year as it battles one of the harshest outbreaks of the disease in the Middle East.

The government has authorized some 52,000 new recruitments in the sector with more than half of the vacancies allocated to nurses.

Taghavinejad said that over 35,000 new nurses would be employed by the government as part of the new recruitment drive in the health sector.