Need more nurses for better health care: Vice president

"It must be acknowledged that nursing is not perceived as an attractive professional option. One is compelled to introspect about the possible cultural and social reasons behind it," Ansari said after giving away the Florence Nightingale awards for nursing personnel at a function here.

"The immense shortage in nursing personnel is a major impediment in achieving health care objectives," Ansari said adding that a huge shortfall was being witnessed in eastern and northern states.

"Over 60 percent of the nursing educational institutions are in southern and western India whereas the greatest shortfall of nursing personnel is in northern and eastern India," he said. 

Expressing concern over the poor nurse-to-population ratio, the vice president said nursing personnel have a critical role to play in view of the increasing number of chronic diseases.

"We have a huge gap of around 10 lakh nurses who need to be trained in a time-bound manner to achieve the Bhore committee recommendation of a nurse-to-population ratio of 1:500," he said.

The committee was set up under the chairmanship of Sir Joseph Bhore in 1943 to survey the Indian public health system. It submitted its recommendations in 1946.
India has a nurse to population ratio of 1:1100 as compared to developed countries' average of 1:120. It is also estimated that out of 10.35 lakh registered nurses, active nurses pursuing the profession are only four lakh.

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