Nagaland health official bats for gender equality in nursing sector
KOHIMA: Pointing out that Nagaland has negligible ratio of male nurses, Commissioner and Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Y Kikheto Sema, on Friday called for promoting gender equality in the nursing sector.
Speaking on the occasion of International Nurses Day organised by the Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Local Branch Kohima, at Naga Hospital Authority (NHAK), the commissioner and secretary revealed that there are 1797 nurses including staff nurses, auxiliary nurses and midwives in Nagaland but there are only 21 male staff nurses.
This accounts for a mere 1.17 per cent of the total nurse force in the state, Sema said as he batted for reservation for males in the nursing sector maintaining that they are required for male patients, especially during emergencies.
He also said that there is a huge shortage of nurses in Nagaland, as per the Indian Public Health System (IPHS).
While informing that the medical department is the third biggest department in the state in terms of employees, numbering more than 9,800, he lamented that the technical wing hardly accounts for 40% of the total workforce.
The remaining 60% employees are from non-technical background, which, he said, is not required in Medical department.
In this regard, he said there is a need for rational distribution and to create more technical posts.
“A hospital with fewer nurses is like a building with a weak foundation. Hence, if we are to meet the healthcare challenges of the future, investment in nursing is of great importance,” he said, adding that healthcare facilities can no longer continue to undervalue and underinvest in nursing.
While informing that the government of India has approved upgrading of three ‘School of Nursing’ in Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung to nursing colleges, he said the state government would request the Centre to approve more such facilities in other districts of the state as well.
Principal of School of Nursing, NHAK, Tiakala Longkumer, said that International Nurses Day is not only an occasion to acknowledge the contribution of nurses to the healthcare sector but also an opportunity to ponder and focus on critical issues affecting them.
Speaking on the theme ‘Our nurses, Our future,’ she said it highlights the crucial role nurses play in shaping the future of healthcare, addressing the global health challenges that exist today, and improving healthcare outcomes for people worldwide.
‘Nurses play a significant role in providing direct patient care, promoting health and wellness, and advocating the needs of the patient. They provide accessible and affordable client-centric holistic care for all,’ said Longkumer.
In view of the constant change in the healthcare system, the practice of nursing has become more complex, she said while calling upon the nurses to expand their role to meet the patients’ demands.
The nursing profession is faced with many challenges such as shortages in workforce, working in high-stress environment leading to burnout and mental health challenges, low salary in the private sector and also in contractual jobs, lack of timely promotions, less opportunities for career growth, lack of dignity and recognition, etc., she pointed out.
Earlier in the programme, Nursing Superintendent of NHAK, Kepelhoutsei-ü lighted the candle, while Chaplain Vikepu Tepa invoked God’s blessings and president of TNAI, local branch ,Pezalhouwheno, delivered the welcome address.