SRINAGAR: In contravention of the accepted norms, the Government Medical College-associated hospitals in Kashmir Valley have one nurse for every 40 patients, Kashmir Nursing Association said on Thursday.
As per the guidelines of the Indian Nursing Council (INC), a medical college hospital has to have one nurse for every three patients, while the ratio has to be 1:5 for the district hospitals.
However, the seven GMC-associated tertiary-care hospitals have, according to the association, a total of 900 nurses to take care of the patients visiting from all across the Valley.
“Here, one nurse has to attend 40 patients,” Mir Muzzafar Ahmad, a spokesperson of nurses’ representative associations, revealed on the International Nurses Day that was observed on Thursday.
He said no new post of nurses was created at the GMC-associated hospitals in the last two decades.
Ahmad was speaking at an event organised here on the occasion. The nurses from all the GMC-associated hospital and students from Bibi Halima College attended the event.
The nurses expressed their unhappiness and asked the authorities as to why they were treated differently than their SK Institute of Medical Sciences’ counterparts.
“After studying for four years, the nurses are employed as junior grade nurses against meager monthly salaries. But the same nurses are better paid at SKIMS,” said a nurse.
They said they were not being paid non-practicing allowance and were denied promotions.
“The nurses working on academic arrangement should be regularised. These are our basic problems; there are many more issues which we are not touching,” a group of nurses shared.
“One should not expect the nurses to perform well in this region, because they (nurses) are overburdened. This profession has lost its appeal in Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.
Principal GMC, Dr Kaiser Ahmad, said nurses have been doing a “commendable job despite having to cater to a huge number of patients”.
“Yet, nursing education needs to be revamped. Teaching needs to be improved in the nursing colleges, and we are having a relook at their syllabus,” he said.
Minister of State for Health and Medical Education, Asiea Naqash, said, “I went to inspect a district hospital yesterday. After 4 pm, no doctor was available there. Only nursing staff was working. It means nurses are the only workforce handling the business in hospitals.”
Responding to the problems put forth by the nurses, she said: “I have not received any written representation. Once I get something in writing, the problems will be solved. But I cannot assure you that all the problems will be solved.”