Government mulls creating national nursing forum

Terming nurses an integral part of the health delivery system, the federal health minister on Wednesday suggested that the government was mulling plans to create a National Nursing Forum in the capital.

This was stated by Health Minister Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Shaikh said that nurses play a crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment.

“As health professionals who are closest to the community they have an important role in developing new models of community-based care and supporting local efforts to promote health and prevent disease,” he said.

The nursing forum, he said, will be housed in the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination in Islamabad.  The ministry will then provide a platform for the functioning of the forum and will make efforts to turn the recommendations into policies.

He explained that the forum will improve health by raising the profile and status of nurses in the country, influencing policymakers and supporting nurses themselves to lead, learn and build a global movement.

Moreover, it will empower nurses to become role models and leaders, breaking taboos in and of the nursing profession and promote females to join the profession.

It will also foster collegial support by sharing the relevant tools and resources. Relationships will be created and maintained in an environment of mutual respect and collaboration, support and formulate sub-national groups to carry forward the objectives.

The minister added that soon a national meeting of all relevant stakeholders will be organised for unveiling the project. Moreover, provincial meetings involving local nursing societies will be organised.

Deliberations with government will be held to enhance the status of nursing profession through the incentivisation involvement of nurses in policy-making and image-making.

It added that owing to the changing needs, nurses have an even greater role to play in the future. New and innovative types of services are needed – more community and home-based, more holistic and people-centred, with an increased focus on prevention and making better use of technology. These are all areas where nurses can play a leading role.

However, maximising nurses’ contributions will require that they are properly deployed, valued and included in policy and decision-making.

The forum will work in connivance with the global Nursing Now initiative which aims at working with partners around the world to advocate for more nurses in leadership positions – to help nurses achieve the influence they deserve.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2018.

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