Working conditions of nurses, 40-hour work week, Crèches- Modi govt wants suggestions @mohfw@gov.in

 

Working conditions of nurses, 40-hour work week, Crèches- Modi govt wants suggestions @mohfw@gov.in

 

Health ministry releases draft guidelines to improve working conditions of nurses, invites comments from public and stakeholders over the next one month.

Crèches in every healthcare institution, an annual health checkup, fixed 40 hour work weeks with comp offs for additional hours during emergencies — these are some of the provisions in the draft guidelines put together by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) for improving working conditions of nurses in all healthcare institutions.



The ministry has invited comments on it from the public and stakeholders over the course of the next one month before the draft guidelines are finalised.


In its draft, the ministry has cited World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Strategy on  ‘Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030’, that calls for upholding “the personal, employment and professional rights of the health workforce, including safe and decent working environments and freedom from all kinds of discrimination, coercion and violence”.


The draft guidelines also mandate healthcare institutions to provide accommodation to nursing staff either within the hospital premises or within a reasonable distance.


According to the Centre, it would be the responsibility of the state governments to ensure that the the guidelines are followed. The draft will be finalized by August 30 after receiving suggestions. 

The Ministry said that suggestions could be mailed to its ID: mohfw@gov.in

 

“All nursing staff to be provided with annual health check-ups, necessary immunization and utilization of hospital services within the healthcare establishments where they are employed,” the draft guidelines propose.

They add: “All healthcare establishments to ensure adequate infrastructure and well equipped workstations in all units/wards to enable efficient functioning of nursing staff. All healthcare establishments to have separate washrooms and changing rooms (including providing drinking water, pantry facilities, lockers, clean uniforms etc.) for nursing staff.”


According to the draft guidelines, the onus to provide nurses with personal protective equipment as required, free of cost, will fall on the hospital or clinic employing them.


India has a shortage of nurses. Moreover, the attrition rate among nurses is very high even in big hospitals owing to the availability of opportunities abroad and difficult working conditions in India. The guidelines are aimed at addressing the latter.


India has about 1.7 trained nurses per 1,000 people, against the WHO norm of four.

 


Guidelines Governing Working Conditions Of All Categories Of Nurses In Healthcare Establishments /Units/ Institutions

 

1. The WHO Global Strategy on ‘Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030’ calls for upholding: “the personal, employment and professional rights of the health workforce, including safe and decent working environments and freedom from all kinds of discrimination, coercion and violence”. Conducive working conditions would enhance patient care and contribute substantially to the overall healthcare outcomes. A safe and healthy work environment for nurses is imperative in order to envision quality nursing care.

2. Therefore, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has drafted the following guidelines to give effect to the resolution towards improving working conditions of nurses in various healthcare establishments. The recommendations to improve the working conditions of nurses are as below:


Section I: Workplace facilities & safety


i. All nursing staff to be provided with annual health check-ups, necessary immunization and utilization of hospital services within the healthcare establishments where they are employed.

ii. All healthcare establishments to ensure adequate infrastructure and wellequipped work stations in all units/ wards to enable efficient functioning of nursing staff.

iii.All healthcare establishments to have separate washrooms and changing rooms (including providing drinking water, pantry facilities, lockers, clean uniforms etc.) for nursing staff.

iv.All healthcare establishments to identify designated resting rooms for nurses working for a prolonged duration.

v. All healthcare establishments to ensure the prevention of occupational hazards as per standard operating procedures and implement appropriate occupational safety norms.

vi.All healthcare establishments should provide adequate personal protective equipment free of cost for all nurses.

vii.All healthcare establishments to provide for creche facility as per the provisions of ‘Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017’.

viii.All healthcare establishments may, as far as possible, provide accommodation to their nursing staff within or near the hospital premises. File No.Z.16015/12/2022-N

ix.All healthcare establishments to establish an internal complaint committee as per the provisions of ‘Protection of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013’. x. All healthcare establishments should establish appropriate time-bound mechanisms for redressal of workplace-related grievances.

xi.All healthcare establishments should take suitable measures to promote a healthy and safe work environment to prevent mental and physical violence against nurses.

xii.All healthcare establishments should take necessary measures to ensure the security of nurses during night shifts. Appropriate measures may be taken to ensure proper lighting in and around work settings to promote the safety of nurses.


Section II: Working hours & staffing

i. Normal work hours for nurses shall not exceed forty (40) hours a week and eight (8) hours a day except where the exigencies of the service require otherwise. ii. Compensatory day-offs can be considered for nurses working overtime during exigencies.

iii.Duty rosters may be prepared and informed to nurses well in advance and nurses should seek prior approval for any change of duty/leave.

iv.All healthcare establishments may promote flexible working hours and shift duties. v. As far as possible, nurses may be posted in their areas of specialization and interest for optimal utilization of their professional knowledge and expertise.

vi.All healthcare establishments to practice routine transfer/ rotation of nurses from high-demand settings to low-demand settings to prevent fatigue and exhaustion among nurses.

Vii.All healthcare establishments to provide an adequate number of qualified, trained and competent nurses in every ward/ unit of the healthcare facility, as per approved standard norms.

viii.All healthcare establishments to promote safe staffing levels by posting adequate support staff as per patient load.


Section III: Promoting nursing leadership


i. All healthcare establishments should conduct regular staff development programmes and in-service training to promote professionalism, leadership, File No.Z.16015/12/2022-N communication, and managerial skills among nurses.

ii. Nurses may be given a fair opportunity to actively participate in the triaging of patients in emergencies and counseling of patients in wards so that they can become part of the decision making process for treatment of patients. They should be provided optimum say in decisions related to the nurses. 


Section IV: Miscellaneous

i. All healthcare establishments to provide induction training to all newly recruited nurses to familiarize them with various hospital departments, facilities, guidelines, and standard operating procedures.

ii. All newly recruited nurses to be posted under the mentorship of senior nurses for a minimum of one-month duration to acquaint them with all protocols and procedures of the facility before placing them on independent duties. iii. All healthcare establishments to provide paid maternity leave as per ‘Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017’ and other authorized leave/ allowances and facilities as per Government guidelines/ existing policies.

iv.All healthcare establishments may, as far as possible, provide equal opportunities to all nurses to pursue in-service/ higher nursing education and research.

v. All healthcare establishments to provide a supportive work environment for nurses and facilitate teamwork to improve patient-related outcomes.

vi.All healthcare establishments to promote well-being measures for nurses, such as yoga and meditation, counseling services etc.

vii.All healthcare establishments to implement fair remuneration on the basis of qualification and experience.

viii.All healthcare establishments to take initiatives to recognize outstanding nurses and take measures to upkeep the morale and motivation of nursing staff.

3. All State/UT Governments are requested to take appropriate measures to implement the above guidelines in all healthcare establishments in their State/UT.


To read the official notification Click here: PDF

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