Most of the government hospitals across the state seem to be running in clear violation of the norms laid by the Indian Nursing Council (INC).
While INC has prescribed a ratio of one nurse for every four beds,the state hospitals are not even close to this.
According to INC norms,there is a requirement of nearly 10,000 nursing staff in 23 district hospitals,23 taluka hospitals,four mental hospitals,two eye hospitals,one infectious diseases hospital and six hospitals attached to medical colleges and grant in aid institutions.
But there are only 7,629 sanctioned posts for the nursing cadre (matron,principal,tutor,lecturer and public help nurses).
Of this,372 posts are lying vacant. This brings the figure of the public help nurse to almost half of the total sanctioned posts.
The Hospitals Committee councillors at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had raised the issue of inadequate nursing staff in two of the AMC-run hospitals L G Hospital and Shardaben General Hospital.
They have been demanding the introduction of INC syllabus and the recruitment of staff as per its norms.
While both the hospitals require nursing staff in three shifts,the deficit in the sanctioned posts as against the required is huge.
The L G Hospital,which runs in three shifts,has 140 nursing staff against the required 482.
Similarly,the Shardaben Hospital has just 180 nurses against the requirement of 496.
Iqbal Sheikh,a municipal councillor and member of the Hospitals Committee,said: “Often,there are limited nurse to attend to a large number of patients,which causes harassment to the seriously injured patients.
There are frequent complaints of tiffs between family members of patients and nurses for not attending to them.
There is a need for increasing the number of sanctioned posts.”
Dileep Mavlankar,chairman of the Centre for Management of Health Services (Indian Institute of Management,Ahmedabad),said the nursing scenario in Gujarat is “not promising”.
“Apart form the huge shortage of nursing staff in hospitals,even education and training to nurses remains largely unattended. However,the biggest problem in this regard remains the management of the staff. For an entire state,there are only two nursing officers at the Gujarat Nursing Council to administer the functioning,” Mavlankar said.