Shortage of nurses takes heavy toll on healthcare system in Kashmir
Feb 17: Healthcare system is at the verge of collapse as government is dragging
its feet to fill up the vacancies of nurses in major hospitals across the
to the data of Government Medical College, Srinagar, all the associated
hospitals in the valley presently run with only 800 nurses against a sanctioned
strength of 3000 to 4000.
the 800 nurses, only 500 are permanent and rest are working on contractual
official of Government Medical College, Srinagar, said the nursing staff posts
were created in early 80’s, when these hospitals were established.
creation of posts is directly proportional to the bed strength. However, with
the increasing bed strength in the hospitals, the staff has remained the same
and the new recruitment has been done purely on contract basis,” he said.
official noted that ideally as per the Indian Nursing Council (INC), the
nurse-patient ratio should be 1:4 in the casualty wards, 1:3 for general wards
and 1:5 for district hospitals.
the situation on ground is completely different. Sample this: In a 50 bedded
ward of SMHS Hospital, there are only two nurses available to attend to the
patients during night time.
in the pediatric ward of GP Pant Hospital, which mostly remains fully booked,
the ratio should be around 1:1. But there are only four nurses available.
of them attend to the newborns on 12 ventilators whereas the remaining two
cater to non-ventilator side which sees around 30 neonatal patients every day.
to the apathy is the fact that the posts are advertised on contractual basis
that too when there is a crisis, said the official.
Health Kashmir Sameer Mattoo said the vacancies are repeatedly advertised when
there is a dearth of staff. “Patient care has been our priority. These posts
are filled up as soon as there is a shortage of staff,” he said.