State to appoint 10,000 nurses as CHOs in district health centres
Kolkata: To mitigate the crisis of doctors in some of the state-run hospitals and health centres in the districts, the state government has decided to recruit 10,000 nurses who would be imparted special training on how to treat patients during an emergency.
According to sources in the state Health department, as many as 10,000 nurses will soon be recruited as "Community Health Officer" (CHO) in the district and sub-divisional hospitals and also health centres in districts where there is still a huge crunch of doctors. The recruitment would be done through various phases on a priority basis. These nurses can be called "mini doctors" as they would be provided with special training so that they can address the crisis in the hospitals.
These CHOs would mostly be sent to villages to develop a better health infrastructure in the rural hospitals. West Bengal Health Recruitment Board will recruit these nurses after getting a final clearance from the Chief Minister.
According to sources, there is a shortage of nearly 10,000 nurses in various state-run hospitals and health centres in the state. Since there is a dearth of doctors in many of the hospitals, the CHOs could become instrumental in addressing the crisis there.
The nurses who are willing and are already in government services can apply for the post and will have to appear in the examination. Those clearing it will get the opportunity to undergo training. There is a plan that in the next four-five years more than 10,000 CHOs will be recruited in the hospitals and health centres.
The duration of the training would be of six months the syllabus for which would be prepared by IGNOU. On the completion of the course, a certificate would be given to the candidates. In the first phase, more than 200 CHOs would be recruited in the village health centres on a priority basis. The CHOs will be able to prescribe some medicines as it would be decided by the department officials in due course.
Director Health Service, Dr Ajay Chakraborty, said: "Around 10,000 CHOs will be inducted into service in the primary health centres in the next five years. The nurses will undergo a bridge course for six months before they are recruited as CHOs in the health wellness centres. The vacant posts created due to absorption of nurses will soon be filled up by the department."