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Indian hospitals note government’s attention to strengthen nursing profession makes patient care efficient

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Wednesday, February 1, 2023, 17:20 Hrs  [IST]

Indian hospitals note that Union government’s attention to strengthen the nursing profession with addition of 57 colleges announced in its Budget 2023 would make patient care even efficient. India currently has 1.7 nurses per 1,000 patients, compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) norm of 3 nurses per 1,000 patients.

Dr. Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, MD & CEO, Fortis Healthcare said this year’s budget addresses the long-standing gaps of the Indian healthcare ecosystem which covers the opening of 157 new nursing colleges and using existing facilities in select ICMR labs for research by public & private medical facilities. In view of the G20 presidency, overall, the announcements provide a strong impetus to strengthen the Indian healthcare ecosystem.

Sandhya J, group chief financial officer, Narayana Health, noted that from a healthcare perspective, there were few hits and misses in the Union budget. Yet the dedicated investment towards nursing colleges will help our country fill the gap of nurses per patient ratio as per WHO standards.

Dr. Azad Moopen, chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare said that the Union Budget 2023-24 has excellent focus on skill development. It addresses one of the core challenges this sector is facing which is the shortage of nursing staff, with the intent to start 157 nursing colleges alongside existing medical colleges. According to the WHO report published last year, India would require at least 4.2 million more trained nurses by 2024 to take care of its over 1.44 billion expected population.

However, the overall impetus for the healthcare delivery sector is missing. We were hoping for an increase in budget allocation for the industry which is essential to fulfil the need gaps. The need to have more hospitals and healthcare facilities in rural and suburban areas to meet the rising demand remains untouched. Hope the government would put more focus on public- private partnerships (PPP) to address this, said Dr Moopen.

We were also hoping for concessions for NRIs residing abroad like reduction on TDS for those who have a source of income in India and are required to pay taxes in the country they reside in, flight prices, health scheme for those who are returning to India to retire, among others. However, these remain untouched as well, added the Aster DM Healthcare chief.

Dr. Manjunath H, founder, Belenus Champion Hospital, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, the idea of bringing 157 new nursing colleges in core locations in collaboration with already existing 157 medical colleges will definitely encourage youth to pursue careers in the medical field which will boost nursing care.

Mamta Carroll, senior vice president & regional director, Asia, Smile Train India, said that over the years, the government’s focus on healthcare has largely been around a Universal Healthcare model and its access. This year’s focus on capacity building. The announcement of 157 nursing colleges, co-located with medical colleges is a welcome move to ensure integration, cross-functional exposure and impetus to para medical skill building and enhancement.


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