Patients High But Nurses Less In India

The shortage of nurses in health care and hospital administration, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the shortfall was a whopping 60%. "Around four lakh nurses in the country are in active service. Around 10 lakh more nurses are required at present," Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said.

There are around 10.35 lakh nurses registered with the Nursing Council of India of whom an estimated 40% are in active service. Many have retired or have gone abroad or given up nursing services after marriage. That leaves only around four lakh nurses in the country in active service, the minister said.

Twenty-five nurses from different states today received the award on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

In order to meet the shortage of nurses and bring the availability of nursing personnel on par with developed countries, an expenditure of over Rs 2,000 crore is being incurred to establish infrastructure for promoting nursing in the country.

About 132 auxiliary nursing and midwifery schools and 137 general nursing and midwifery schools are expected to come up while nursing councils and nursing cells are being strengthened at different states and districts.

There are around 10.35 lakh nurses registered with the Nursing Council of whom nearly 40 per cent would be in active service. Many have retired or gone abroad or given up nursing services after marriage.

The government has also relaxed certain norms to encourage more admissions to nursing courses.

Nurses and midwives are the pillars of health care delivery system and hospitals can not function without them.   

Shrusti Jain

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