To address the shortage of well-trained home nurses, the Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat is set to launch its own home nursing service for the public.
As part of a project being implemented with the Women and Child Development department, a training programme for the first batch of 26 home nurses have already been completed, while 77 persons have already registered for the next training batch.
The district panchayat’s home nursing pool is expected to be available for the public from the third week of December. According to district panchayat officials, a call was initially given for women from economically backward families and who have passed Plus Two examinations. The participants were chosen as per the list provided by the Child Development Project Officers from various panchayats in the district.
A training module was developed in association with the Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP), as part of which training in geriatric care, palliative care, and such disciplines were imparted. Another component of the training was carried out by the community medicine department of a private hospital. Following this, medical verification and police verification of each of the candidates were also conducted.
“There is a lot of demand for home nurses in the district as well as across the State, but there is a lack of transparency in the functioning of some of the private agencies. In a number of cases, the requirement is to tend to senior citizens whose children stay abroad and are often concerned regarding the security of their parents. Here, the district panchayat is providing a pool of home nurses after carrying out all the necessary checks,” says B. Radhakrishnan Nair, chairperson of the Welfare Standing Committee of the district panchayat.
The district panchayat will be fixing the hourly wages for their services as per the stipulations of the Labour department. According to officials, this will also address the issue of wage disparity based on gender that exists in the private sector. An emergency number will also be provided to the home nurses to report in case of any untoward incident at their workplace.
The Kerala State Human Rights Commission had last year directed the State government to take steps to regulate the agencies operating in the home nursing sector, after complaints were received regarding the functioning of some of these.