INDIA – India’s healthcare system is facing a critical challenge as it grapples with a severe shortage of nurses, exacerbated by emigration to other countries. 

Medical experts have highlighted this concerning trend, which poses a significant hurdle in meeting the nation’s healthcare demands.

According to a joint statement by medical professionals, India is experiencing a significant deficit in qualified nurses, creating a gaping void in healthcare provision.

Dr. Girdhar Gyani, Director General of the Association of Healthcare Providers (India), emphasized the gravity of the situation by citing data from the Indian Nursing Council. 

He pointed out that with a population of 1.3 billion, India has only 33 lakh registered nurses, translating to a meager nurse-to-population ratio of 1.96 nurses per 1,000 people, far below the World Health Organization’s recommended rate of three nurses per 1,000 population.

Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Director of Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, emphasized the urgent need to focus on training nurses domestically, particularly in light of advancements in healthcare technology. 

He noted that Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities acutely feel the shortage, where even well-equipped hospitals struggle due to needing more trained healthcare personnel.

Dr. Bajaj also called for increased government support for the nursing community to address these challenges effectively

Dr. Gyani echoed these sentiments, stressing the importance of upskilling the existing nursing workforce alongside increasing their numbers. 

He emphasized that providing advanced training and specialized knowledge to nurses can bridge staffing gaps and result in better patient care, reduced healthcare costs, and higher motivation among nurses.

Furthermore, Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director at Orbis (India), illuminated the pivotal role nurses play in community education regarding eye health and disease prevention. 

He highlighted their unique ability to connect with patients beyond medical records and proposed organizing workshops, school screenings, and awareness campaigns to disseminate crucial information on eye health. 

Dr. Borah emphasized that nurses can significantly promote healthy vision practices among communities.

The joint statement issued by medical experts stresses the urgent need for India to address the critical shortage of nurses. 

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