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Times of India: "Nursing system in poor health"

September 9, 2003 -- Today's Times of India included an article by Purba Kalita highlighting complaints about a lack of professional nursing care in Indian hospitals which has reportedly forced families to try to perform much of the care themselves. The piece focused on interviews with family members who felt that the hospital nurses they had dealt with recently were either unable or unwilling to provide adequate care for their loved ones. The families had hired outside help or "nursed" the patients themselves, including keeping round-the-clock vigils and administering medications. The article suggested in the first paragraph that it was the nurses themselves who were "adding to [patients'] woes," but later in the article also provided "the other side of the picture" through information from two nursing leaders and a senior government official. Dr. Margaret Dean, Vice President of the Trained Nurses Association of India, pointed to the acute shortage of trained nurses, the proliferation of minimally trained caregivers who are passed off as nurses, low salaries, and a general lack of hospital resources. Dr. Asha Sharma of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing noted that most trained Indian nurses preferred to migrate abroad because of the "much better life" available. The government official decried a policy which apparently requires that nurses work under a series of three month appointments, rather than on a permanent basis. The piece ended with a "patient's checklist" that, though understating nursing autonomy, gave a fairly good sense of some of the things nurses should do for patients, including coordinating care with other health team members, assessing and intervening.


See The Times of India article Nursing system in poor health.

 

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