By Dr. Dipanjan Sujit Roy, Director, IIHMR Delhi
Healthcare is among the fastest growing sectors of Indian economy today. It comprises of hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. About 80% of the healthcare sector, however, comprises hospital industry and private sector’s share in hospitals is estimated at 74%.
The factors that have contributed to the healthcare sector’s accelerated growth include conducive government policies such as allowing FDI and tax benefits, greater health awareness, rising incomes, lifestyle diseases, medical tourism and increasing access to insurance.
According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), a trust set up by the Government of India commerce department, the overall Indian healthcare market is worth around US$ 100 billion and is expected to grow to US$ 280 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9%.
Similarly, the Indian medical tourism is expected to reach US$ 6 billion by 2018, and the healthcare information technology (IT) market is estimated to grow 1.5 times by 2020, from the current US$ 1 billion.
One of the inferences that can be drawn from the data mentioned above is that the healthcare industry promises to give a big boost to employment opportunities in the coming years. And one of the important areas where these jobs are going to be created is healthcare management.
Several business houses have made big investments in the healthcare sector, and this has made it absolutely necessary for the healthcare delivery system to function in a professional, organised and efficient manner. Therefore, there is an urgent need for not only trained doctors and nurses but also qualified healthcare and hospital managers to handle these challenges.
Besides operational and financial necessities, efficient management is also required to save more lives. Whether it is the maintenance of general hygiene and management of biomedical waste, optimal utilisation of equipment, availability of life-saving drugs and essential materials, or efficient functioning of OPDs, emergency wards and operation theaters – various measures help in saving lives besides, of course, availability of good doctors.
In fact, the role of hospital administration has undergone a major change over the past decade or so. Now, it is generally accepted that doctors should perform clinical duties and qualified and trained managers handle administrative and managerial responsibilities.
Most modern hospitals and other healthcare establishments today need managers equipped with multidisciplinary skills such as hospitality management, understanding of medico-legal litigation, data management, environment conservation, human resource development, quality and risk management, marketing and product diversification and logistic emergency management.
Growth in science and technology and the increasing use of medical apps have made it necessary for healthcare managers to have considerable understanding of information technology as well. And in a more general way, a hospital manager is also required to act as an intermediary between clinical staff, departmental heads, and governing bodies to ensure overall smooth functioning of the organisation.
As far as job opportunities are concerned, hospital management professionals are required not only in hospitals and clinics, but also in healthcare NGOs, hospital consultancy companies, health insurance firms, and IT industry involved in developing software for hospitals and healthcare institutions. They can work as hospital superintendents, heads of departments, deans, directors and Chief executive officers.
Hospital Management is a profitable career option because besides getting lucrative remuneration, it helps you to achieve the goal of service to mankind. Many students nowadays are highly confused with what to do after graduation. Few lucky ones get a job after graduation, but the majority have to get a post graduate degree to have a decent job. Healthcare management is one such field that has brilliant prospects in the job environment. Currently, the demand outweighs the supply and this is likely to be in the coming decade. There are plenty of job opportunities in healthcare management. There are health programs like national health mission, control programs like HIV/AIDS, TB, Vector Borne Diseases etc. The other career opportunities are with healthcare IT firms like Dell, ZS Associates etc. and consulting agencies like Accenture, PwC, Deloitte that hire such professionals. NGOs working in the health sector is another favored destination. In fact, professionals have the luxury to choose from the government to high-level private players in India and abroad. Not having said that, the next obvious question could be – what will be the starting grade in all these options.
The answer to this question lies in not only doing a professional course but the years of experience that one has prior to joining a course. In case of fresh graduates without any work experience, the industry would hire them as middle to upper middle-level managers in hospitals or health programs. But if one has some years of experience, they could start up higher enough and reach the zenith in a few years’ time.
Many healthcare management professionals do not wish to join any industry but start a venture of their own. Given the rigors of healthcare management training and practicals, this is emerging as one of the new but interesting career options. Start-ups can be hospitals, consulting firms, management agencies or even healthcare IT firms.
However, there is a catch in all of these. Healthcare and hospital management is a specialized field and needs professionals from the healthcare sector to impart the appropriate knowledge and skills to a fresh graduate. Not all the institutes and academies have the required capabilities to provide curriculum and training to create ‘job ready’ candidates. Thus, it is important to choose the right institution so that the right career opportunities could unfold itself.
In conclusion, there are a plethora of career opportunities for professionals undergoing healthcare management. Professionals should select the right career option with a couple of things in mind, the foremost being interest in that field. As the old saying goes, if you are doing what interests you, sky is the limit.Last Updated - 09 Mar 2017