IMA lauds nurses on International Nurses Day Says nurses are the backbone of healthcare and it is important for physicians to take their responsibility New Delhi, 11 May, 2017: Nurses are the backbone of any healthcare setting. They are the underdogs who play a key role in all medical institutions, and are responsible for the welfare and recovery of patients. Recognizing this, the International Nurses Day is celebrated every year all around the world on the 12th of May to commemorate the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale and mark the contribution of nurses towards people’s health. The theme for 2017 is Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The MCI code of ethics states that 'physicians should recognize and promote the practice of different paramedical practices such as nursing and seek their cooperation wherever required'. Also, the responsibility for the welfare of nurses rests with the physician. India is facing a phenomenal shortage of 2.4 million nurses and the number is expected to increase, given the high rate of migration of nursing professionals owing to factors like job insecurity, working environment and gender biases. Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, "There is an enormous amount of knowledge and skill sets that nurses possess. They spend years perfecting these skills while at the same time working in decidedly tough situations which can sometimes be very stressful. They also help bring new life into the world, care for the sick and the elderly, and suffer watching people pass away despite their best efforts. At times, they bring to notice any oversight in a doctor's prescription thus averting any possible mishap. On this day and every day, we should recognize their contribution to healthcare and the hard work, long hours, and duress that are a part of this profession." It was in January 1974 that 12th May was officially declared as the International Nurses Day. There are many events and campaigns that take place all over the world to commemorate this day. As part of these campaigns, there is a need to create awareness that both men and women can be successful nurses and both have the equal right to work and earn a livelihood through this profession. Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said," Apart from understanding that nursing is a demanding profession, there is also a need to eliminate gender biases, promote better and uniform pay for nurses to reduce the incidence of migration to other countries, and strengthen the education and training system for nurses in India. This can be done by setting up more colleges and training centres and encouraging practical training." Nurses are the most resilient entities in a healthcare setting as they see a patient through all highs and lows. Any small initiative on this day to appreciate their place and presence in healthcare and thank them for all their efforts will go a long way in recognizing their importance in society at large.