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May 14, 2010

Vice President Presents National Florence Nightingale Awards-2010 to Nurses

    The Vice President Shri M Hamid Ansari presented National Florence Nightingale Awards to Outstanding/Meritorious Nursing Personnel here today. Terming nursing a noble profession Shri Ansari  said that nurses play a key role in ensuring equitable health care for all. 

   The Vice President said that the Nursing personnel must understand the magnitude of the health challenge and take coordinated action to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent disease and provide health care to those in need. Speaking on the occasion the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad assured that the Government is committed to upgrade nursing skills and improve the overall availability of nursing personnel. Shri Azad said that there are around 10.35 lakh nurses registered with the Nursing Council. Of these nearly 40% would be in active service. Many have retired or gone abroad or given up nursing services after marriage. That leaves only around 4 lakh nurses in the country in active service. Based on estimates made by different agencies around 10 lakh more nurses are required at the present rates.

        In order to meet the shortage of nurses and bring the availability of nursing personnel at par
with the developed countries Shri Azad gave details of new schemes being envisaged for promoting nursing in the country. He outlined the following initiatives.

• Opening of 132 ANM (Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery) schools at an estimated cost of Rs.5.00 crores   per school.

• Establishment of 137 GNM (General Nursing and Midwifery) Schools at an estimated cost of Rs.10.00 crores per school. Care will be taken to open these schools in those districts, where there are no such schools at present, thereby ensuring that all the districts of the country will have at least one Nursing School in the next two years.

• 14 State Nursing Councils are being strengthened at estimated cost of Rs. 1.00 crore per council.

• In another 14 cases Nursing Cells in Directorate of Health Services in the States are being strengthened at an estimated cost of Rs.1.00 crore per State.

• Six more Nursing Colleges are being opened at estimated cost of Rs.20.00 Crore per College.

                The Health Minister also enumerated other measures such as liberalisation of the norms to encourage setting up of more nursing institutions. For example, the student patient ratio has been relaxed from 1:5 to 1:3, and adoption of a pragmatic approach in respect of faculty requirements and the qualifications and experience norms and the upper age limit of faculty has also been relaxed.

              Similarly, super speciality hospitals have been allowed to start M.Sc. programmes without insisting on having graduate programmes; married females have been allowed admission in nursing course.

               Similarly, 100 nursing seats would be allowed to parent hospitals without insisting on a Medical College.

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