The nursing sector in India has an increasing demand for nurses; to be precise, nearly 2.4 million nurses, says a report published by FICCI-EY (Ernst & Young) during the former's annual health conference FICCI HEAL 2016.
According to the report, 'Nursing reforms: Paradigm shift for a bright future', the demand for more nurses owes to better medical facilities, increased life expectancy, bigger geriatric (elderly) population as well as rising medical tourism among others.
India ranks 75th among 133 developing countries regarding the number of nurses, with only 0.7 doctors and 1.7 nurses available per 1,000 people. Despite being a leading supplier of nurses to the rest of the world, its own healthcare industry is suffering from a wide gap.
The report also mentioned that the country's public health expenditure remains bleak at 1.4 percent of GDP, which is lower than many low income countries.
"A crucial segment of human resources in the health sector, there needs to be a focus on improving the participation of these professionals in the policy and decision making process, and special emphasis placed on their training and development in line with evolving technologies in healthcare," said Vineet Chhatwal, Partner, EY India.
Of the 30 recommendations the report ends with, revision of the Indian Nursing Act, 1947, to make it more in tune with contemporary healthcare; and an even distribution of nursing training programmes, are two major recommendations which seeks to address the skewed demand supply ratio.
It also points out that 52 percent of the total nurse training facilities are located in south India.