Providing complete healthcare solutions
One of the largest industries today, healthcare is also the fastest growing. Healthcare administration or hospital management, as it is also called, provides management skills for the delivery of health care services.
The demand for healthcare services has expanded so much that the industry at Rs 70,000 crore, is among the fastest growing sectors in the country. With the ever-increasing health consciousness amongst the public, fairly bolstered by the ballooning population, a great many hospitals, clinics and healthcare centers have sprung up. This has thrown open an absolutely new and extremely interesting career; namely Hospital Management. Big names in this area like Apollo, Escorts Hearts Center, Bombay Hospital and Hinduja Hospitals are among those who offer professionally managed healthcare in India.
Doctors + healthcare managers = efficient hospitals
Armed with the psyche of a doctor and the skills of a manager, the hospital manager can make a system cost-effective. Since India has a huge potential for growth and thus healthcare, the need for healthcare managers is increasing with the ever-expanding health services. The last 10 years has seen a huge development in this sector with private organisations and MNCs setting up multi-specialty hospitals. This has in turn stimulated the need for trained professionals to manage the health services.
While the central and state government health services provide essential hospital services in the rural and urban areas, the basic infrastructure and the quality of services are inadequate to meet the growing requirements of an increasing population. Health services in the country require not only an infusion of more doctors and specialists, but professional services of trained manpower to manage hospitals and medical facilities.
The medical staffs working in hospitals find very little time to handle non-medical day-to-day administrative affairs. Moreover, handling of such tasks requires management and professional skills that need constant devotion and upgradation. It is very difficult for doctors to spare time for such things.
Role of hospital manager
A hospital administrator is overall in charge of administrative affairs of the hospital. He takes over the charge of various aspects of health administration and hospital administration vis-a-vis patients and health care. It envisages professional responsibility in various aspects - planning and control, management of the medical staff, demography and biostatics, management and research in health care, epidemiology and community health and strategic management.
Besides an understanding of the functions of the different departments, hospital managers should be familiar with financial operations, personnel management, purchase of materials and storage, organisational development and patient care.
In most large hospitals the administrative set-up has both medical and non-medical administrators. The technical aspects such as procurement of equipment and medical supplies, research work, recruitment and training of medical staff and the management of medical services is carried out by medical administrators or doctors.
Hospital management professionals handle other responsibilities that are non – medical in nature and do not require any technicality. More and more non – medical graduates are entering the field.
Skill sets required
Today, the management of hospital and health services has assumed a professional status. Many hospital and pharmaceutical firms are setting up professionally managed centres for providing multi-specialty healthcare services, and need managers who have an understanding of general management and its application to the healthcare delivery systems.
The nature of the job requires a number of qualities and essential attributes. The person should have decision - making capability based on up-to-date management principles and techniques. This envisages planning of future requirements like material, technical and financial. One should also be well versed with financial forward planning and should be responsible enough for the maintenance of the building.
So, if you are good with people, have patience, tact and communication skills you can look at a fulfilling career as a manager or consultant with a hospital, nursing home or clinic, working to help people with medical problems. With some experience you could also set up your own nursing home or hospital. Certain must-have qualities for candidates aiming at hospital management are time management skills and personal commitment.
The job basically requires management professionals and not doctors per se. Therefore, not only doctors and paramedics, but ordinary graduates, too, can opt for the courses and enter the field. There are a number of courses being offered by different institutions. Most of the courses in hospital administration and management are offered at the post-graduate level. The postgraduate programme is open to students from all disciplines. Doctors too can be admitted to this course.
The duration of the course varies from one year to two years. However, some courses are also being offered at graduate level, but they are exclusively for medical graduates. Most institutes ask for a minimum of 50% at undergraduate/graduate level for admission for their graduate/postgraduate programme.
Selection in most of institutions offering such courses is through a common entrance examination. The common entrance examination is followed by either Group Discussion and/ or Personal Interview.
As far as training is concerned, the most favourable and acceptable is the 3-yr Masters in Doctors program in hospital management / administration meant for medical graduates (MBBS). Nonetheless, opportunities for non-medical students are also available.
- The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
- Indian Institute of Health Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- The Apollo Hospitals spread in different locations of the country.
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
- Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi.
- National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi
- Panjab University, Chandigarh.
- Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Ranchi (Jharkhand)
- Symbiosis Centre for Health Care, Pune
- SNDT Women's University, Mumbai.
- Indian Institute of Health Care Administration, Chennai
- Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi.
- NIMS, Hyderabad.
- Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.
- Indian Institute of Modern Management (distance learning department), Pune
- Institute of Health Management Research, Bangalore