Pakistan needs 200,000 nurses to meet health crisis

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative in Pakistan, Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, has stated that the country is facing a human resource for health (HRH) crisis, with available resources in the sector meeting only one-tenth of the country’s needs.

Dr. Mahipala told the senior faculty at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Monday that Pakistan urgently needed 200,000 nurses. He urged Pakistan’s government to improve its health-care workforce. “No healthcare system can provide quality care without the participation of trained, committed professionals, including quality doctors and nurses,” he believes.

According to the WHO director, UHS is a fantastic institution, with a strong emphasis on primary health care and family medicine. He advised the university administration to develop a five-year plan for program development and assured them of WHO support in this regard. Dr. Palitha Mahipala stated that the current focus was on universal health coverage. He went on to say that Pakistan’s goal for universal health coverage was 60% by 2030. According to the WHO director, primary care is the most comprehensive form of health care, but it should not be limited to giving patients a few medications. While praising UHS’s role in medical education, Dr. Mahipala stated that it could be considered a WHO Collaborating Center.