125 doctors to be promoted, appointed as specialists

Health and Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar has said that 650 more nurses will be appointed in State-run hospitals shortly, while 125 doctors will be promoted and appointed as specialist doctors. The vacancies from the promotions will be filled up without delay.

Inaugurating this year's week-long Nurses' Day celebrations at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College here on Saturday, Mr. Sivakumar said the decision to appoint staff nurses would be approved by the Cabinet shortly while procedures were on for the appointment of specialist doctors wherever necessary.

Earlier, the Minister said the government was seriously examining the S. Balaraman Committee report on the problems of nurses employed by private hospitals in the State and on the nursing sector in general. The recommendations in the report would be implemented without discrimination and only after detailed discussions with nurses, related associations and institutions, and all stakeholders. Nurses would undoubtedly get their due, he said. Ultra-modern equipment and expert doctors would be rendered ineffective if there were no nurses, the Minister said.

Mr. Sivakumar announced that a State-wide sanitation drive would be organised on May 17, involving all local self governing bodies. Each panchayat ward in the State would be part of the drive, he said.

Earlier, delivering the presidential address, P.K. Jameela, Director, Health Services, said it was unfortunate that there were several unqualified persons working as nurses in the private sector and that they were being seen on the same level as qualified and dedicated nurses. The government had taken cognizance of the situation and was initiating remedial steps.

The Dr. Balaraman Committee had found that the eight-hour work shift system was not being implemented in totality in the State with taluk-level hospitals and primary health centres being unable to do so because of shortage of staff.

Awards for nurses

Mr. Sivakumar later gave away State-level awards to nurses. The Best Nurse (State-level overall) went to Remadevi C., from the W&C Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram while the Best Nurse (Director of Medical Education award) went to Satyanathan, head nurse, Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode. The award for the best nurse from among all medical colleges went to Pankajakshi, head nurse, Medical College, Kozhikode.