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India running short of two million nurses

india Updated: Mar 17, 2008 20:56 IST

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India was short of two million nurses as per the global average on the number of nurses required in comparison to the population ratio, Vishal Bali, CEO, Wockhardt Hospitals Group, said today.

The WHO accepted global average standard was 2.56 nurses per thousand population as against India's average of point eight nurses available for per thousand population, he told reporters while launching India's first online skill assessment tool for nurses.

The health care sector was expanding phenomenally with the demand for nurses growing by the day.

Eighty per cent of the nurses came from the southern region with Kerala leading the supply sector followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, he said.

Nearly 20 per cent of experienced nurses left for greener pastures abroad with many opting for the US, UK and European countries as against the earlier trend of the Gulf countries employing them in large numbers, he said.

On the supply side, he said there were 1597 nursing schools, 833 nursing graduate colleges, 97 post-graduate nursing institutions. The institutes churned out nearly 80,00 nursing diploma holders, 41,650 graduate nurses and close to 2000 post-graduate nurses.

Nearly 55 per cent of the workforce in each hospital comprised the nursing staff, he said adding that the health sector was one of the largest employers. The health care delivery sector was currently US $ 35 billion and was expected to rise to US$ 75 billion plus by 2012.

Speaking on the online test, Bali said development of the tool was done by Wockhardt in cooperation with Career India.