Experts stress nursing training gaps
Calcutta: Bengal's failure to produce enough nurses every year and their limited training affect private health care in the state, hospital administrators and nurses said at a meet on Friday.
"The policy makers in Bengal should have recognised that health care would see a boom in numbers and they should have kept adding to the number of nursing seats in colleges," Uma Ukande, president of a national association of nurses called Nursing Research Society of India, said.
"But unfortunately that did not happen and now there is a yawning gap between demand and supply of nurses."
Ukande was speaking on the sidelines of the second annual Nursing Conclave of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Calcutta on Friday, which was attended by nurses and hospital administrators from across the country.
British deputy high commissioner Bruce Bucknell and state minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya attended the conclave.
Reena Bose, the president of the Bengal chapter of the association who retired as the deputy director of health services (nursing) in 1995, said the number of BSc (Nursing) seats had remained static at 30 between 1995 and 2007.
Government figures show the sanctioned strength of nurses in government hospitals is 45,041 of which 38,347 are filled.
The gap is filled up by the government each year by recruiting trained nurses from private hospitals, leading to a crisis in the private ones, hospital bosses said.
Now, the number of BSc nursing seats in Bengal is 1,215 while the number of general nursing and midwifery (GNM) seats is 2,105, which means the total number of nurses being produced is 3,330.
At least 4,000 more nursing seats need to be created to meet the yearly demand, industry experts said.