APHNH calls for intensive care training for nurses in the private sector


In view of World Nursing Day, the Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH) announced their commitment to initiating and expanding training programmes and intensive care training courses for nurses in the private sector.

“As cases rise again in the country, we are very thankful for the nurses working tirelessly to keep us safe. The strain on them is immense, especially given the country’s shortage of nurses and paramedical staff. In the near future, we can ease their burden by training more nurses and strengthening the sector at large,” commented APHNH Secretary, Dr. Sunil Ratnapriya.

The ratio of nurses to the population in Sri Lanka stood at approximately two nurses per 1,000 Sri Lankans in 2018, far below the global average of 3.81 nurses per 1,000 population (World Health Organization, 2018). According to APHNH, expanding nursing programmes with all necessary haste could help fill this shortage.

Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 and the subsequent pressure on health services, the importance of critical care nurses has been recognized locally and globally. In line with the theme for World Nursing Day this year, ‘A vision for future healthcare,’ APHNH called for the introduction of critical care training programmes in the private health sector.

“Particularly, the need for Critical Care Nurses in the country is especially acute. Critical Care Nurses provide direct and individualized nursing care to patients and require extensive specialized training. Such formal training programmes have not yet been made available to the private sector nursing staff. Therefore, APHNH is taking the initiative to introduce this training for private sector nurses,” Dr. Ratnapriya also noted.

To this end, APHNH is in the process of collaborating with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) and other industry stakeholders to establish a Nurses’ Training Institute. Among several courses and internationally recognized qualifications provided, the Association plans to cater to the need for intensive care training.

“We’re very grateful for the contribution of our healthcare workers in their efforts against the pandemic. We can’t take the risk they face lightly – nurses formed the biggest healthcare worker group to be infected with COVID-19, according to the International Council of Nurses. We will keep looking for ways to protect and support our private sector medical staff,” concluded Dr. Ratnapriya.

Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH):

Established in 1972, the APHNH represents all the country’s private hospitals and nursing homes. According to official statistics from the Institute for Health Policy, the private healthcare sector accounts for Rs. 193 billion in expenditure on medical goods and services, which amounts to nearly 55% of the country’s total healthcare cost.

As the leading representative of this industry, the association plays a vital role in uplifting healthcare standards and building a healthier country.

Through its representation in the Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC), APHNH plays an important role in the regulation of the country’s private health sector.

Over the recent past, its efforts have also included facilitating skills development among healthcare workers, conducting courses for nurses to enhance their capability and contributing to the upliftment of healthcare standards in the country in various ways.