ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services (NHS) Saira Afzal Tarar on Wednesday said more than one million new job opportunities need to be created for health workforce by 2030 both in public and private sector besides offering them decent working environment.

“The current nurses and midwives production capacity is around 9,000 per year which needs to be doubled in the next five years for which new nursing schools and colleges need to be put in place.

“Lady Health Workers (LHWs) number should also be doubled from the current less than 93,000 to more than 180,000 within next five years to ensure provision of essential primary health care services at the doorstep of community,” she said while speaking to participants of Launching Ceremony Pakistan: Human Resources for Health Vision (2018-30) at a local hotel.

She said the future of Pakistan lied in the future of its people.

“For a bright future, the people need to be able to perform at their best which can only be possible if they are living healthy and productive lives,” she said.

The health minister said over the course of the last five years the government had made considerable efforts towards enhancing the health services being made available to the people.

The minister said in order to meet the need of greater numbers of health workforce within the country, there was a need to pay due attention for enhancement of the production capacity.

She said quality of medical and nursing education would be improved, ensuring a system approach in the governance of these institutions. Research and reliable data on human resources is critical need of the country.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2018