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Monday October 25, 2021

In need of nurses

April 05, 2017

The medical sector in Pakistan has historically been preoccupied with cure rather than care. As a result, while the country continues to produce a massive number of doctors every year, the nursing workforce has largely been ignored. Despite their integral role in patient care, they are seldom given the attention or recognition they deserve which has inevitably led to a drastic shortage of nurses and paramedics in the country. According to the figure cited by the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences 2015, the existing nurse-patient ratio in Pakistan is approximately 1:50 whereas the ratio prescribed by the Pakistan Nursing Council is 1:10 in general areas and 2:3 in specialised areas.

One of the primary reasons for shortage in the nursing industry is the stigma attached to the profession. Nursing is usually written off as an option for the less privileged. The shortage of nurses, however, is not just a local problem. The downward trend is affecting medical care worldwide. The WHO estimates that the world needs to increase the number of health workers by more than four million to achieve the global health goal set by the Millennium Development Goals.       

Sadia Muhammad Yar

Karachi