By Pratima Jain, Group Head, HR Paras Healthcare
The healthcare industry in India is expected to grow exponentially and reach about 370 billion US Dollars by 2022 owing to heavy incidence of non-communicable diseases and lifestyle ailments in the country.
There is respectable growth of hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and even insurance companies offering medical insurance. All of these require professionals to run their organizations for smooth functioning and for expansion. No wonder there has been a huge interest among youngsters these days for a career in healthcare management.
Healthcare management involves taking care of administrative needs of a healthcare institution. There are several aspects to it. There is accounting, staffing, marketing, public relations, human resource management and many others. Healthcare managers are primarily responsible for delivery of healthcare services in an efficient manner to the patients.
The minimum qualification required for healthcare management is an undergraduate degree in hospital administration. Such a course is called ‘Bachelors in Hospital Administration’. The eligibility for this course is minimum 50 percent marks in 10+2 with biology as a subject. After successful completion of this course, the candidates can go for a job in the healthcare industry or go for a masters degree in healthcare management. One can choose a ‘Masters in Hospital Administration’ or ‘MBA in Hospital Management’. These courses can be done even by those who did not have a proper science subject at graduation level but having a biology-related subject in graduation like microbiology or biotechnology is a must.
A Masters graduate in Hospital Management will usually be placed at mid-level management level in a particular field like human resources, government relations, information systems, finance, material management, public relations, front desk and reception, patient satisfaction and many others.
Working for hospitals or clinics can be challenging and requires hard work, a lot of patience and leadership skills. One is required to shoulder responsibilities such as maintenance of labs, administrative work and quality checks, material management involving regular supply of consumable by doctors and nurses and many others. Sometimes, one is required to work in shifts and under severe pressure.
There are cases where staff is given accommodation in the premises if their roles and responsibilities so desire. Other aspects of this career are that sometimes one is required to work in emotionally charged atmosphere and there is minimal scope for mistakes. Candidates can be asked to come to work anytime given that hospitals have to deal with emergency situations also.
There are several advantages too. One gets very high work satisfaction and working in healthcare industry is always noble. Even the remuneration is good. India has also an evolving medical tourist hub of Asia. This means hospitals chains are deploying staff in trying to get international patients also. So a career in hospital management can also involve international marketing.
One can start with a salary of Rs 2.5-3 lakh per annum after an undergraduate degree. People with Masters degree can earn more with salaries ranging from 6-12 lakh to per annum depending on overall marks, smartness and performance in the course. Candidates with MBA in Hospital Management can even earn up to Rs 25 lakh per annum. MBAs are general placed in rehabilitation centres, group medical practices, community hospital and outpatient clinics. There are many colleges and universities offering such courses but the college must be chosen after a lot of care.
With the ever changing and ever evolving health care industry and with India also maturing as a healthcare destination, there are newer aspects to a career in healthcare. There is now a great deal of emphasis on eHealth initiatives such as Mother & Child Tracking system by the government.
The Indian companies are also entering into mergers and acquisitions with global companies which is throwing up new jobs and requirements for healthcare professionals In India. Those who have a computer science degree in undergraduate level and them MBA in Hospital Management can set their career paths on fast track easily.
The recent decision of the Central government to provide up to Rs 5 lakh per annum per family in the country to avail health care services is something that will change the dynamics completely and push up the demand for doctors and healthcare professionals further.
There will be a paradigm shift and more and hospitals will come up to cater to those patients who did not avail medical services so far because of lack of financial resources or went to quacks or unprofessional medical practitioners who were willing to offer their services cheap. Now with the new government decision, more and more people will be able to access professional medical services.
If one is willing to work hard accept challenges and likes meeting people from different parts of society, then Hospital Management is the career for such a person. This profession also has a lot of nobility attached to it.