ISLAMABAD - A high-level delegation of Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) on Thursday called on Federal Minister for Education and Vocational Training (FE&PT) Shafqat Mahmood and conveyed the problems of the council related to Higher Education Commission (HEC).

A statement issued by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (FE&PT) said that the delegation told the federal minister that the country is currently facing a shortage of 9 million nurses and if 70,000 nurses are trained every year, this target can be met by 2030.

Federal Minister for Education directed HEC Executive Director Shaista Sohail to address all the issues of the council on priority basis.

He said that immediate relief should be given to the nurses who were facing problems due to non-study of Pakistan Studies and Islamic Studies as essential subjects in nursing programmes in the 90s as they had already studied these subjects at matriculation and intermediate level.

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood said that there is a great demand for Pakistani nurses at the international level but since they are also needed in Pakistan, they are not being sent abroad giving priority to their own interests.

The PNC delegation appreciated the practical initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education to provide one thousand scholarships for MS and PhD programmes for nurses in recognition of services in the field of nursing and thanked the minister.

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood told the Executive Director HEC that they should also be given scholarships by HEC for the development and promotion of the nursing sector. The delegation thanked the federal minister and said that this was the first time that any government had paid so much attention to the field of nursing.