President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said the demand for professional caregivers for the elderly is on the rise and government healthcare institutions can consider developing short-term training courses for them. The President also asked states that are yet to implement the Ayushman Bharat programme to do so at the earliest.
The president was speaking at an event to present the National Florence Nightingale Awards to 36 nurses for their meritorious services in the healthcare sector. Kerala's Lini Puthussery, who died due to Nipah virus infection in May last year, was awarded posthumously for her "unsurpassed dedication in taking care of patients during the Nipah virus outbreak in the state".
"The world is in more and more need of care and compassion and nurses are a symbol of 'sewa'. The country is proud of your selfless service and dedication. You shall play an important role in the Ayushman Bharat Programme," Kovind said.
He said, "In India, families take care of the elderly. However, with changing lifestyles, the demand for professional caregivers to take care of the elderly is on the rise. "These caregivers can certainly benefit from a basic training in geriatric care. Our training institutes can consider developing shot-term courses for such caregivers," he said.
Named after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, the wards were instituted by the Health Ministry in 1973.