Patna Medical College and Hospital is set to hire 135 nurses on contract to fight shortage of the personnel.
Superintendent Amar Kant Jha Amar said shortage of nurses at the health hub has hit patient care, prompting the administration to take the decision.
“There are 1,258 sanctioned posts of nurses at the hospital. At present, only 218 nurses are working on permanent basis, while 615 are functioning on contract. So, the hospital needs 425 more nurses. To fill this gap, we are going to hire 135 nurses on contract. We are hopeful that the recruitment drive would be completed before January 26 or at least by the end of this month,” said Dr Amar.
He added that the nurses would be recruited for 12 months. They would be paid Rs 20,000 every month and if required, their services would be renewed.
Bimal Karak, deputy superintendent, Patna Medical College and Hospital, said paramedical employees, especially the nursing staff, are the backbone of any hospital.
“According to the rules of Medical Council of India, the patient and nurse ratio in a general ward should be 6:1 and 2:1 in the emergency wing. However, with the manpower crunch at the hospital, we have not been able to follow this guideline — important for patients’ care. Nurses are more important than doctors, as patients are totally dependent on them during their stay at a hospital. From distribution of medicines to conducting basic tests, everything is done by the nurses,” said Karak.
The hospital matron, Meena Kumari, also stressed on the difficulties faced by the personnel in face of the shortage.
“All our nurses put in their best but that even is not enough. At present, around five nurses have to attend to 60-70 patients in a ward. Sadly, they are the ones who have to bear the brunt of the public because they cannot take proper care of so many patients at the same time,” she said.
The matron added that she regularly receives complaints from relatives of patients about the nurses not taking proper care.
Although she hailed the hospital’s decision to hire 135 nurses on contract, Meena added that the administration should also think of recruiting more nurses.
“There is a requirement for 425 nurses but the hospital administration is only thinking of hiring 135 nurses on contract. The hospital is taking a lot of burden because most of the district- and block-level hospitals refer critical patients here. In such a condition, a strong paramedical staff is necessary for assuring best care to the patients,” she said.
Superintendent Amar said: “In spite of the shortage of nurses at the hospital, they have always proved their mettle. On January 26, we are going to felicitate two nurses for their performance in the last year.”