Gangtok, May 12 (IPR): The International Nurses Day was celebrated at STNM Hospital today in the august presence of Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang as the chief guest. Also present on the occasion were Health Minister Dr. M.K. Sharma, DG-cum-Secretary, Health, Dr. Pempa T. Bhutia, Former Nursing Superintendent of STNM Hospital Smt Dawa Lamu Targain, Press Secretary to HCM Shri Bikash Basnett, senior officers and doctors, other invited guests and the nursing fraternity of STNM Hospital.
The programme began with the lighting of ceremonial lamp before the portrait of Florence Nightingale, followed by cutting of the cake to mark the occasion.
The programme had a theme-based dance performance by students of Sikkim Government College of Nursing and a Maruni dance by the nurses of Trauma ICU, STNM Hospital. Likewise, a poem on Covid-19 written by Shri Shiva Prasad Neopaney of Rautey Rumtek was recited by Nurse Neelam Pathak.
Thereafter, nurses of different departments of STNM Hospital as well as from District Hospitals were felicitated by the chief guest in honour of their commendable service.
Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang in his address extended International Nurses Day greetings to all and congratulated the nursing fraternity for organizing the event on a grand scale. He suggested that International Nurses Day should be made a part of the calendar of annual events of the Health department and celebrated in a befitting manner every year.
At the outset, he illustrated the significance of the day and paid his tribute to Florence Nightingale, popularly known as ‘the lady with the lamp’ who introduced the world to modern nursing. The Chief Minister said that he has the highest regards for every healthcare worker for the service they offer every day.
The Chief Minister lauded the tireless effort of the nurses of Sikkim especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the subsequent vaccination drive, which has put Sikkim on a high pedestal in the national ranking in terms of health care delivery.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the present Government has laid highest priority on the health sector both in terms of infrastructural up-gradation and up-scaling of manpower. Speaking about STNM Hospital, he said that it is now equipped to cater to the medical needs of the people of Sikkim and neighbouring regions. The Chief Minister mentioned that utmost care is being taken to ensure hygiene for which SULABH International has been roped in. Likewise, security within the hospital premises and wards has been enhanced with the deployment of additional force of the Sikkim Armed Police. He said that STNM Hospital is the pride and prestige of Sikkim and it should be the endeavour of every individual to maintain and safeguard it. The Chief Minister also touched upon other initiatives of the Government in the health sector. He spoke about the ‘Chief Minister’s Medical Assistance Scheme’ designed to ensure that no person is deprived of medical treatment.
Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang also spoke about the women-centric schemes namely Aama, Bahini and Vatsalya announced recently by the Government.
In conclusion, the Chief Minister announced that the Government will constitute an annual award called ‘Chief Minister’s Best Nurse Award’ which will be awarded to the best three nurses in the State every year on the occasion of International Nurses Day (12th May). The Award will be presented from the year 2023 onwards. He announced that the award will comprise a cash prize of Rupees five lakhs, Rupees Three Lakhs and Rupees Two Lakhs to the best three nurses respectively.
Earlier, Health Minister Dr. M.K. Sharma in his address expressed his gratitude to the nursing fraternity for their selfless service. He said that this year’s theme for International Nurses Day justified the role of the nurses in ensuring universal and equitable health care for all. He equated the role of a nurse to that of a mother, as they serve from their heart beyond their call of duty, sacrificing all comfort. He further added that the Covid-19 pandemic testified in true sense the role of the nurses as a vital workforce. Minister Dr. Sharma added that nurses also act as the key medium to share health related messages to the public and the society at large. The Minister said that nursing in Sikkim has evolved from modern to multi specialized nursing.
The Minister congratulated the nurses who were felicitated on the occasion, and the nurses who received the Florence Nightingale National Award and Best Vaccinators Award recently. The Minister also remembered Late Basanti Sundas and other nurses and health staff who passed away due to Covid-19. He also paid his tribute to Late Dr. Sanjay Upreti and recounted the bravery displayed by him to save the life of a fellow health worker.
The Minister concluded his address by thanking Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang for prioritizing the health sector and for fulfilling the demands of the health care workers.
During the programme, a brief report on Sikkim State Nursing Service was presented by Joint Director, Nursing, Smt Uden Bhutia.
On the occasion, a philanthropic donation in the memory of Late Chabilal Singh Cintury, 1st Electrical Engineer from Sikkim, popularly known as ‘Bijuli Babu’, was made to the Hospital by his grandson Dr. Gyanendra Cintury. The cheque of Rupees One Lakh was presented from the hands of the Chief Minister.
Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by Nursing Superintendent, STNM Hospital, Smt. Rajni Barfungpa.
The programme concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Nursing Superintendent, STNM Hospital, Smt. Phurba Lhamu Bhutia.
Earlier, Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang inaugurated two high end equipments installed in the Cath-Lab operation theatre of Cardiology Department, STNM Hospital, Sochyagang, namely Intravascular Ultrasound System (IVUS) System of Heart and Electrophysiological Study & Radio-frequency Lab. The addition of these two high-end facilities further strengthens the health infrastructure of STNM Hospital and will enable the public to access the services within the State