Nurses shortage puts major hospitals in trouble

March 2, 2016 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: The major and district level public sector hospitals of Karachi have been facing acute shortage of staff nurses, adversely affecting patient care, it emerged on Thursday.

The major and district level hospitals of Karachi run by Sindh government’s health department and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation have been facing acute shortage of staff nurses since long but authorities concerned could not bother to fill the vacant nurses posts despite the laps of several years.

Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Sobhraj Maternity Hospital, Sindh Government Children Hospital, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital, Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital (LGH), Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad and Sindh Government Hospital New Karachi have been facing acute shortage nurses since long.

The examples of few hospitals facing shortage of nursing are 115 nurses posts are lying vacant in Sindh’s largest government-run tertiary-care hospital Civil Hospital, 172 in JPMC, 79 in ASH, 70 in LGH, 65 in NICH, 35 in Qatar Hospital, and 22 in Liaquatabad Hospital.

Due to unavailability of the required number of nurses, the performance of nurses on duty in various departments had badly affected due to heavy work load, they added. The authorities concerned are not paying heeds toward this issue and many nurses are performing their duties under extreme pressure and extra burden of work leads them towards different psychological or behavioural issues.

The several new wards have been established in these public sector hospitals in recent past like Medical ICU, CCU, Paeds ICU, and Cardio Surgery, but the number of staff nurses is not increased as per the demand which had created serious crisis in the hospital regarding nursing care. As per law of Pakistan Nursing Council, one staff nurse is enough to attend 10 patients, but due to shortage of staff, a nurse has to cover 30 to 40 patients in the hospitals.

President Young Nurses Association Sindh Ejaz Ahmed Kelari, while talking to PPI, said: “Nursing profession is consider backbone of health department, but unfortunately about 2,000 nursing posts are lying vacant in public sector hospitals across the Sindh province.”

He said YNA Sindh had sent several written requests to Chief Secretary Sindh, Health Secretary and other high-ups to fill the vacant posts and promotion of nurses on urgent basis in next grade as patient care had badly disturbed due to unavailability of nurses in hospitals in the province especially in Karachi. He said although Sindh government had announced hiring of 500 nurses under public service commission, but there was urgent need of 1500 more nurses to meet the shortage.