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Pakistan In Need Of ‘A Million Nurses’

Pakistan faces a massive shortfall of nurses with a population of 200 million people and only 75,000 nurses to cater to their needs.

In a seminar on the situation of healthcare in the country and the status of nurses organized by the Prime Institute of Health Sciences, global healthcare experts apprised the audience of the fact that Pakistan needs around a million nurses to overcome its shortfall.

According to a report in Express Tribune, Dr Katherine Hannaway, the Executive Director of Nursing Now, an international campaign run by the International Council of Nurses and World Health Organization, also made comments during the seminar. She highlighted the crucial role played by nurses in support of the health sector.

Dr Katherine stated, “We must capitalise on one of our best assets, the largest group of healthcare professionals, by equipping nurses to provide high-quality patient-centered care and play an integral role in leading change in the health sector.”

Dr Hannaway also said that despite new opportunities being created by increased globalization and technological advances, there is an increased pressure on healthcare systems. She identified disease, socio-demographic changes, along with natural and man-made disasters as the culprits behind the deterioration of healthcare.

The health expert was also of the opinion that additional burden is being placed on healthcare systems due to war and the resulting creation of refugees and displaced populations.

She admired the role nurses played in responding to the health needs of communities affected by emergencies and termed them ‘unsung heroes’.

Regarding the solutions to these healthcare issues, Dr Katherine said that empowering nurses and enhancing their capacities will help in saving lives and improving health.

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Moreover, she also said that employing more nursing staff is not the only solution. She called for a greater number of nurses to be employed in leadership and policy development roles, specifically in delivering universal health coverage.

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