An increasing number of Iranians struggle to make ends meet as an economic crisis that has gripped the country in recent months worsens. Hyperinflation, factory closures, rampant unemployment, a record number of company bankruptcies, the high cost of living, low wages and unpaid salaries have caused severe hardships for many households and pushed a large segment of the country’s population into poverty.
After four decades in power, the Islamic Republic has failed to provide a comprehensive national healthcare program to its citizens. Most Iranian families find it increasingly difficult to bear medical expenses and healthcare cost.
Kazem Farajollahi, a labor activist, told ILNA (Iranian Labor News Agency): “The number of people who go to the doctor or hospitals or health clinics has dropped considerably this year because most Iranians cannot afford medical expenses for their families.”
Mr. Farajollahi added: “In recent months some hospitals have reported more empty beds compared to the same period last year. The number of empty beds differs depending on whether the hospital is in a poor neighborhood or in an affluent area. Iran’s poor and working classes cannot afford to pay for their medical and healthcare expenses any longer.”
“More than 80 percent of workers and day laborers receive a national minimum wage, which is well below general living expenses,” Farajollahi noted. “The welfare of working-class families is in danger. They face an uncertain future unless the government finds a solution soon.”
[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]