ISLAMABAD :Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Tuesday confirmed plans to introduce new legislation for nursing sector to improve professional standards and address workforce shortages in the country.
In a media briefing, Dr Zafar Mirza said the government had decided to start nurses’ development programme to address the issues of shortage of nursing staff in hospitals and improving the quality of education and training at their institutions.
He said there was also a plan to introduce public health emergency concept under which nurses would be assigned to perform duties at different level of health system during any emergency.
He added that this concept would boost the existing health system to make it prepare to manage any emergency situation.
Mirza said there was also a plan to start one year public health course at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for nurses, adding initially 25 nurses would be selected for this programme while later after completion of this programme these nurses would be deployed at primary and secondary health care system of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
He said in order to improve health care delivery system related to nurses, the government would upgrade nursing institutions for imparting education up to graduation level.
He added that with the support of Pakistan Nursing Council, the government was committed to improve the standard of nursing sector.
The special assistant said there was a shortage of nurses in the country as against the requirement of 1.3 million nurses here in Pakistan only 100,000 nurses had been working, adding the government was considering various options to overcome this deficit.
He said there was no culture of utilizing the services of nurses at community or rural health center level, however, the present government had been working on a plan to utilize their services at community level.
Dr Mirza said an amount of Rs 50 billion had been allocated for making improvements in health system and the prime minister had given a task to the Ministry of National Health Services to make strategies for effective future health system.
He said the COVID-19 epidemic had exposed the health systems of various localities. He added that this disaster at the same time provides an opportunity to make changes in respective health systems for safety of people.
He said the government had also decided to make reforms in health sector with making improvements in health care delivery system from primary level with an active role of all health professionals including nursing staff.