12 May : President Pratibha Patil has expressed concern over accumulation of medical waste and termed it as a "grave environmental challenge" for the country.Patil, while speaking to nursing professionals from across the country, asked the community to play a lead role in safe disposal of the medical refuse.
"Today, medical waste is one of the grave environmental challenges confronting us. Nurses can play an important role in safe disposal of medical waste as its segregation and handling begins from the bedside of the patient," Patil said while presenting the National Florence Nightingale Awards for nursing personnel at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday.
Underlining the importance of the profession, Patil said, "While doctors diagnose and treat the disease, it is nurses who take pre-and-post operative care of the patient."
The President also said the profession has to evolve itself to "respond to new demands and new techniques".
"The new century has brought more focus on healthy life-styles and self-care….in such a scenario, the role of the nurse will be that of an enabler, a facilitator and a manager of care. Nurses should constantly upgrade their skills to meet these varied functions," Patil said.
The President said the nurse-patient ratio has to be improved and to do so more nursing colleges should be established in the country.