BHURBAN, PAKISTAN, JUNE 2001.
The meeting, attended by 22 participants, from Bahrain, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen was the first joint meeting to be held between representatives of the disciplines of nursing, medicine and pharmacy in the Region.
The objectives were to:
• identify the factors and issues creating the need for nurse prescribing;
• develop a regional policy framework for nurse prescribing to assist Member States; and
• develop a mechanism to strengthen the collection of evidence and information for nurse prescribing.
The meeting concluded that quality health care services, including prescribing of an appropriate range of essential drugs, at the first level of the health care system, should be available to health service clients. In many settings, nurses are the backbone of the primary health care system, and as such should be authorized and able to prescribe within the scope of nursing practice. Specific recommendations to WHO included:
• assistance to Member States in their efforts to identify, formalize and strengthen the roles and responsibilities of all health care providers involved in prescribing, with an emphasis on rational use of drugs;
• initiation and coordination of demonstration projects and case studies to evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of using different categories of health care providers, with special emphasis on nurses, in prescribing and rational use of drugs.