Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: The government will soon launch specialty nursing courses such as intensive care unit, paediatric, gynaecology and cardiology nursing in government nursing colleges to keep up with advancements in the field, Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy has said.

Inaugurating the Nurses' Day celebrations organised here on Wednesday, Ms. Sreemathy said the government would provide opportunities for higher studies for those nurses in service who had done only the general nursing and midwifery course as modern medicine demands specialised nursing skills.

She said the government had succeeded in creating ample opportunities for girls from the State to learn nursing. The entrance examination for joining the B.Sc. nursing courses had been separated from that of the medical entrance so that students genuinely interested in the profession could be given admission. The government was mindful of the welfare of the nurses' community and their pay revision has been included in the terms and references of the Ninth Pay Commission.

Ms. Sreemathy said she was aware of the problems faced by nurses working in hospitals in the private sector but the government had no responsibility or control over these private institutions. However, once the Clinical Establishments Bill proposed by the Centre became an Act, the pay and service conditions of these nurses would be regularised.

She congratulated Sunitha Chirayath, staff nurse, Kannur District Hospital, and A.P. Subhadra, junior public health nurse, Pakkom, Wayanad, who won this year's National Florence Nightingale Nurses' Awards.

She also distributed this year's State Nurses' Awards. The State Award in the medical colleges' category was won by N. Radhamani, head nurse at Kozhikode medical college, and in the health services category by O. Syamala, head nurse at General Hospital, Kozhikode.

Nurses' awards for the districts were also distributed in both categories.