There is a severe shortage of paramedical staff in the eight Employees' State Insurance (ESI) hospitals in the State. This has not only affected the patient care services but also burdened the existing 462 staff nurses. Revealing this to The Hindu on the sidelines of ESIC Nursescon 2011 organised to mark Rajajinagar ESIC Model Hospital's golden jubilee celebrations here on Sunday, Indramma, president of ESI Nurses Association, said the hospitals needed 96 more nurses.

“While the Indian Nursing Council norms prescribe a 5:1 patient-nurse ratio, we are working on a 40:1 patient-nurse ratio. This has increased the work load on the existing staff,” she said.

“Although the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) has started the recruitment process, it has been delayed because of some confusion in the eligibility criteria. Candidates who had been trained in the three-and-a-half-year nursing course as well as those who graduated from the recently introduced three-year course had applied for the jobs,” Ms. Indramma said.

However, Rahimunnisa, director of ESIS medical service, said the problem had been solved for now as the KPSC had released a provisional list for appointment of 95 nurses. “The final list should be ready by December and new recruits are likely to be posted by early January. This should address the problem,” she said.