Federal Minister for Education & Profession Training, Shafqat Mahmood, addressing the Launching ceremony of Nursing Scholarship Program, said that the incumbent government, for the first time in history has allocated 1000 Scholarship for Nursing program with the disbursement of Rs 310 million for the year 2020, adding that the Ministry would further spend Rs 1.24 billion for expending Nursing Scholarship in next four years.
He said that Equal opportunity for most deserving but talented students was provided to all areas of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, KPK, FATA, GB, ICT, & AJK. So talented students who wanted to pursue nursing as a career but cannot afford to do so could benefit through this program. The total intake as per approved seats allocated by PNC for the year 2020 for nurses is approximately 5000.
So by giving 1000 scholarships, 20% of students (every 1 out of five students) can avail the scholarship.
Mr Mahmood said, “Usually, nursing students belong to very poor families and are from very low income category group. They want to adopt this profession but as they cannot afford the fee they usually are forced to signed tough agreements with the affiliated hospitals who pay them very less and bond them for 5 to 8 years. Year 2020 is being observed as Nursing year globally and this Government has brought unique and exclusive steps to promote nursing in the country.”
There was a critical need for financial assistance for current working professional nurses to upgrade themselves by studying 4 years BSN degree program since nursing diploma programs were obsoleting from the year 2020 and onward.
Pakistan is far below the critical level for Human Resources for Health (HRH), being amongst the most HRH deprived countries of the world.
Health system in Pakistan is beset by a growing nursing workforce crisis.