Health Research Conference: Pakistan has the lowest ratio of nurses to doctors

VC calls on varsities to focus on finding a local solution to problems

Our Correspondent March 07, 2018

PESHAWAR: Pakistan has the lowest ratio of doctors to nurses and midwives with an imbalance in favour of the former, which was alarming.

This was stated by WHO-EMRO Technical Officer Professor Dr Gohar Wajid as the three-day-long ninth annual Health Research Conference, organised by the Khyber Medical University (KMU), kicked off in Peshawar on Tuesday. The conference is built around the theme of “Health Research Priorities in the Sustainable Development Goals era”.

Dr Gohar Wajid said that Pakistan’s ratio of nurses and midwives against doctors was 0.50.

Per Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) data, he said that in Pakistan, the density of doctors ranges at 0.98. Simultaneously, the density of nurses and community-based health workers was at 0.50. This he said, was more alarming for health delivery systems.

Moreover, he said the feminization of physicians was a real challenge to the policymakers as well as medical regulatory bodies such as PMDC and medical universities.

From 1980 to 2017, the average increase in the number of male and female doctors per year had nearly doubled and quintupled from 2,810 and 976 to 5,313 and 5,008 respectively.

Dr Wajid urged the relevant quarters to invest more in scaling up the health workforce by strengthening primary care and to introduce incentives for deployment, retention and better utilisation of the health force.

Earlier, National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Rawalpindi Vice Chancellor Lt Gen Professor Dr Syed Imran Majeed said that universities should be targeting local solutions for local problems, through a thriving research enterprise.

He went on to say that modern varsities have three basic functions including generation of new knowledge, transference of that knowledge to others and translation of that knowledge into practice.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2018.