At a recent national meeting on the first-year completion of the #NurseMidwife4Change campaign, the campaign partners- Indian Nursing Council (INC), All India Government Nurses Federation (AIGNF), The Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Society of Midwives-India (SOMI) and Jhpiego came together to discuss the issues affecting the nurse and midwifery profession and the progress made so far.
The experts recognized the nurses’ and midwives’ role and contribution to India’s health care system. The esteemed participants deliberated the need to further uplift the status of nurses and strengthen the cadre of nurse midwives in India.
The talks highlighted some of these vital considerations like investment in education, staffing of nurse midwives, nursing leadership, nurse-patient ratio, workload, long working hours, double shifts, and others.
The experts also discussed the need to prioritize investments to further strengthen this cadre and position nurse midwives as leaders, educators, and collaborators. The new guidelines by the Center are being seen as a move in the positive direction by nursing organizations.
Today, India stands at 1.7 nurses per 1,000 population, as opposed to the World Health Organization norm of 3 nurses per 1000. The poor nurse-patient ratio is leading to increased workload, long working hours, double shifts, and others leading to low quality of treatment. This issue must be resolved to build a robust health workforce in the country.
Presently, policy priorities targeted at strengthening the nursing sector in India have mainly focused on increasing the number of nurses in the health care system.
To set the tone for systemic policy reforms, the panelists discussed the policy priorities toward building a health workforce for the future aimed at achieving universal health coverage.