President Pranab Mukherjee said that India’s nurses are a valuable instrument of change and the largest workforce in the healthcare industry.
“At the national level, the nursing workforce in India is a valuable instrument of change. It is well-known that nurses are the largest workforce in the healthcare industry in India,” Mukherjee said at a function where he gave away the Florence Nightingale awards to 35 nurses from across the country.
“If they (nurses) are properly trained and strategically positioned, they can help develop quality health care, strengthen healthcare systems and work effectively in interdisciplinary teams,” he added.
He said nurses had an important contribution to make in planning and decision-making for the development of an appropriate and effective health policy for India, improving efficiency in public health programmes and reducing cost and wastage.
The president, however, said: “We must keep in mind that the ratio of nurses in India, at the current level of 1.25 nurses per 1,000 persons – is well below the world average of three per thousand. In some developed countries the ratio is actually much higher.”
There is a need for greater focus on education and training of the nursing personnel, he added.