Kashmir hospitals have 1 nurse for 30 patients, claims doctors body

KL News Network

Srinagar

A scene inside Ward 7 of SMHS  hospital Srinagar.
A scene inside Ward 7 of SMHS hospital Srinagar.

Doctors Association Kashmir Wednesday expressed concern over a serious shortage of nursing staff in Kashmir hospitals that is adversely affecting health care quality and patient outcome.

In a statement issued here, president of the association said that lack of adequate nursing staff in hospitals is responsible for higher mortality rates among patients.

In the emergency ward of SMHS hospital, one nurse has to attend at least thirty patients in a shift, he claimed.

For 60 patients in a general ward which include postoperative patients, there are only two nurses to take care of them during night hours.

At SKIMS, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has just two nurses for 16 patients in the night shift.

The international nursing council recommends a nurse-patient ratio of 1:1 in ICU and postoperative room, 1:2 for labour and delivery and 1:3 in the general ward.

For 16 patients in ICU, 48 nurses are needed for 3 shifts with additional 30% reserve.

We have a huge shortage of nurses in our hospitals.

There are 120 nurses for 850 bedded SMHS hospital, which on a given day has more than 1000 inpatients.

600 bedded Lal-Ded hospital which all the time has double the number of patients, has 85 nurses and SKIMS Bemina has 100.

The situation in peripheries is worst where some hospitals run on only one nurse.

The overloaded nurses are bound to make medical errors thus endangering the safety of patients.

Various studies have found that shortage of nurses in hospitals is related to increase in number of deaths.

While the appropriate number of nursing staff is critical to the delivery of quality patient care, it seems value of life has been lost in health care planning.

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