New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said nurses and midwives are crucial in delivering "cost-effective and good quality healthcare".
He was speaking at Rashtrapati Bhavan after presenting the National Florence Nightingale Awards to nursing personnel on the occasion of International Nurses Day.
"Nurses in India are at the forefront of our national healthcare system. Their contribution is central to its success. Our nation is proud of their services," a release quoted Mukherjee as saying.
The President also said significant gains were made in "increasing life expectancy and reducing child and maternal mortality" in both urban and rural India throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century.
Saying that the need to adapt our standards to the evolving demands of healthcare and update the capacities was self-evident, Mukherjee said: "Our country needs to respond swiftly to healthcare challenges that keep coming up."
As per the release, Mukherjee was glad to see that the National Health Policy, 2017, "envisages a new momentum in innovation and nursing".
He added that Indian nurses take on greater local, national and international roles.
"We need to ensure appropriate professional development and human resource policies in our country and increased involvement of nurses in policy development," he said.
"The complexity of medical and healthcare practices today demands that nurses are fully involved in the planning, implementation, research and evaluation that goes into the successful delivery of patient care," he said.
The legal and policy framework of nursing protocols and standards of practice must facilitate optimal utilisation of competencies.