The Government of India is asking for recommendations in the current draft of the NNMC bill (National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Bill). This bill is to replace the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947. After the letter by TNAI (The Trained Nurses’ Association of India), nurses from Karnataka also joined the list in the suggestions and criticism of the bill.
On 9 December, nurses from Karnataka wrote a letter to the Union Health Minister, Dr. HarshVardhan recommending the changes in the bill.
In the letter, they asked the authorities to remove the nursing associates, midwifery associates, and homecare personnel from the bill. They said that they are not trained and hence should be excluded.
The Trained Nurses Association, Karnataka unit, claimed that the quality of health care will be compromised because there are a large number of qualified nurses with limited skills. It may also jeopardize public health safety.
They also questioned why there is no representation from registered Nursing Associations. For the regulations of standards in nursing services, there is a need to form a separate board. Nurses suggested for the Nursing and Midwifery Practice and Rating Board for the same.
In the letter, they also suggested the inclusion of Ph.D., post-doctoral, and other higher qualifications in the Nursing and Midwifery PG Board.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare did not consult all stakeholders while drafting. Their approach should not have been ignored in the drafting process. The entire profession cannot be based on the beliefs of some individuals. No member of the AIGNF, being a major stakeholder, was included in the draft committee. There is not much in the draft regarding patient welfare and the development of the nursing profession.
The Central Government will directly nominate the members of the Commission. That is, the central government will have complete control over the commission. This composition violates equal representation in the decision-making process.