A news report in The Morning Standard regarding an ‘insensitive remark’ by head of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare against nurses is misleading. The report indicating that a controversial remark was made few days ago on the representation of demands by the nurses group, thus showcasing lack of empathy towards nursing profession, is apparently being blown out of proportion.
For all health matters including nursing matters, Directorate General of Health Services (headed by DGHS) performs the function of technical repository and provides specialised domain-specific technical inputs to the Ministry. In health, including nursing matters, policy decisions and their programmatic implementation is the responsibility of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. This division of work leads to a harmonious relationship between Dte.GHS and the Ministry.
At present, there are three technical positions relating to the nursing domain in Dte.GHS. They are Nursing Advisor, ADG (Nursing), Dy. Asst. DG (Nursing) and Deputy Nursing Advisor. Some Nursing Associations have been demanding that these technical posts be transferred from Dte.GHS to the Ministry. Since the present system of technical advice being provided by Dte.GHS and programmatic implementation being done by the Ministry is working in a satisfactory manner, hence the Ministry is not in favour of transfer of these technical posts from Dte.GHS to the Ministry.
Dte.GHS is extremely sensitive to the profession of nursing and wishes to see it achieving its rightful place within the medical profession. A section of nurses, it appears, are not satisfied with four technical nursing posts being operated by Dte.GHS and want these posts to be transferred to the Ministry. The email referred to in the news report is DGHS’s response to these Nursing Associations. The representation in this regard received in the Directorate was clearly acknowledged. Moreover, DGHS firmly believes that his Directorate is an integral part of the Ministry and works with the Nursing Programme Division of the Ministry to solve all the problems of nurses.
HFW/Rebuttal DGHS remarks/15th February 2023