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India needs additional 2.4 million nurses to meet growing demand: Report

Thursday, Sep 1, 2016,12:30 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | India ranks 75th amongst 133 developing countries with regards to the number of available nurses and country needs an additional 2.4 million nurses to meet the growing demand, a new report today said.

The FICCI – EY report titled Nursing reforms: Paradigm shift for a bright future released today said that only 0.7 doctors and 1.7 nurses are available per thousand people.
“India ranks 75th amongst 133 developing countries with regards to the number of nurses, with only 0.7 doctors and 1.7 nurses available per thousand people.

“The country needs an additional 2.4 million nurses to meet the growing demand. Despite being a major supplier of the health workforce, the healthcare industry in India is suffering a wide gap,” the report said.

It noted that the nursing sector in India continues to experience challenges in terms of availability, distribution and retention with the lack of a rewarding career progression, individual welfare and income parity being cited as key reasons, amongst others.
Additionally, alternative careers with better pay-outs and less stressful work environments and opportunities to migrate overseas tend to better attract nurses, it said.

The report also highlighted the need to revise the nursing curriculum – still governed by the Indian Nursing Act framed in 1947 and revised in 1948 – to make it relevant to the current healthcare industry requirements.

“Additionally, there exists a manpower skew and uneven opportunity of nursing studies across the country, with almost 52 per cent of the nursing institutions concentrated in the south,” it said.

It said that there is an urgent need for nursing transformation at the national and state levels in both the government and private sectors that can change the practice of nurses, expand current nursing roles while continuing to create new ones and open up opportunities for nurses to participate in shaping the future healthcare delivery system.

The report carves out 30 key suggestions to strengthen the nursing sector, which primarily deal with policy reforms, human resource development, strengthening the nursing practice, and education.