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International Institute of Health Management Research - [IIHMR], New Delhi

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IIHMR's Prof. Ashok K. Agrawal highlights the importance of a career in healthcare management

Many students nowadays are highly confused with what to do after graduation. A 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.

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 organization. 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 utilization 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.

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. Besides ensuring good remuneration, Hospital Management helps you to achieve the goal of service of people.

the tribune column

Some important points about Healthcare management

  • Healthcare is among the fastest growing sectors of Indian economy today. It covers hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. About 80% of the healthcare sector, however, encompasses the hospital industry and private sector's share in hospitals are 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.
  • 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 public health and hospital managers to handle these challenges.

Remuneration

The next obvious question could be - what will be the starting grade in all these options. The answer to this question lies not only doing a professional course, but also the years of experience that one has prior to joining such a course.

In the 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.

In conclusion, there are a plethora of career opportunities for professionals undergoing healthcare management. Professionals should select the right career 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, the sky is the limit.

Last Updated - 25 Apr 2017

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