Amidst the ongoing pandemic, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have been at the forefront to lift the country out of this situation. They have reaffirmed their commitment to look after the patients and serve the country in the need of the hour.
Considering their active contribution towards the service of mankind, 12 May is observed as International Nurses Day across the world.
12 May: The day marks the birth anniversary of the world’s most famous nurse
Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp, was born on 12 May 1820. She was a social reformer, who founded the key pillars of modern nursing. During the initial phase of her career, she took care of the British and allied soldiers, wounded during the Crimean War. She spent most of her time caring and comforting the injured people. She was the key figure behind establishing formal training for nurses and setting up a training school for midwives. She was the first woman, who was awarded the Order of Merit in 1907.
Nurses, the backbone of the healthcare system
International Nurses Day is celebrated to highlight the importance of nurses in the healthcare continuum and to express gratitude towards their selfless services. According to WHO, ”nurses account for more than half of world’s health workers, yet there is a shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million (2020) more nurses still required, especially in low and middle-income countries.”
2020: 200th Birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale
International Nurses Day, 2020 marked the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. Last year, on the occasion of International Nurses Day, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan appreciated the work and selfless dedication of the nursing professionals. Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that, “The depth of a nurse’s work and sincerity cannot be defined adequately, such is their commitment”. He also thanked the nursing professionals for their kindness, dedication, healing touch and always putting patients first, no matter how gruelling the day. He also mentioned that, “Without nurses and other health workers, we will not win the battle against outbreaks; we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or universal health coverage,”. The theme for 2021 is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare”
Protecting the Healthcare Personnel
In the year 2020, an Ordinance was promulgated to protect the healthcare personnel against any violence. The Ordinance made acts of violence against healthcare personnel cognizable and non-bailable offences. The Ordinance also proposed compensation for injury to healthcare service personnel or for causing damage or loss to the property in which healthcare service personnel may have a direct interest. Abetment of such acts of violence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of three months to five years and with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/-. In the case of grievous hurt, imprisonment could be extended for a term of six months to seven years and with a fine of Rs.1,00,000/- to Rs.5,00,000/-. Moreover, the offender shall also be liable to pay compensation to the victim and twice the fair market value for damage of property.