Engage persons who failed to qualify as Nurses as Basic Volunteer Nurses: John F Kharshiing

Shillong, Apr 19: The Chairman of the Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya, John F Kharshiing, suggested that the government should recall individuals who failed to qualify for nursing jobs and invite them to be engaged as Basic Volunteer Nurses as part of the State’s preparation to fight COVID-19.

Meghalaya Deputy Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, A.P Nongbri, has placed the suggestion before the Director of Health Services Aman Warr for consideration.

“A number of boys and girls who has not qualified for appointment as nurses would have to be engaged as nurses on remuneration or on fixed pay basis for a specified period in various hospitals and CHC’s or other healthcare facilities in connection with the state’s fight against COVID-19. This was discussed in previous meetings in relation to manpower shortage,” Nongbri stated.

Meanwhile, Kharshiing in his email to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, dated April 8, 2020, said, “We would like to draw your attention to the fact that globally we can see that there is huge stress on the healthcare system due to speed and scale at which COVID-19 spreads and where some countries are facing a crisis in terms of healthcare manpower.”

“While we read about the state and Centre’s focus on the increase of isolation and ICU beds we are yet to hear a detailed roadmap about enhancing the healthcare manpower which would be required with each isolation and ICU bed,” Kharshiing pointed.

Kharshiing suggested that the state government consider advising the Meghalaya Public Service Commission and the Department of Health to recall and extract the past list of candidates who did not qualify for nursing job and “invite them for induction in collaboration with the nursing colleges and institutions of the state so as to mobilise them to at least qualify as basic volunteer nurses as part of the state’s preparation to fight COVID-19.”

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