A judge in East Azarbaijan province in north-western Iran has sentenced a doctor found guilty of neglect in treating a patient to examine sick people free of charge.
According to the verdict, the doctor has to spend 1,500 hours seeing patients in hospitals in underprivileged parts of the province, as a replacement for the criminal part of his offence.
Otherwise, the doctor had to spend two years behind bars, the Persian-language IRNA reported.
The doctor must also pay blood money to the family of the patient who had sued him.
Tasnim News Agency reported last year that 240,000 people are currently incarcerated in Iran, with some overcrowded prisons having no more room for new arrivals.
There are still lots of people being sent to prisons annually, many of whom have committed misdemeanours or minor crimes.
The judiciary has recently encouraged its judges to try to avoid giving prison sentences to upend the trend.
Such orders are usually welcomed by the lawbreakers, and also their families, who do not like to see their loved ones to go behind the bars.