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Posted at: Jun 13, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)CAREER COMPASS: HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT

Roadmap for a healthy career

Roadmap for a healthy career

Pratima Jain

The healthcare industry in India is expected to grow exponentially and reach about $370 billion by 2022, owing to the heavy incidence of non-communicable and lifestyle diseases in the country.

The industry’s many components are witnessing an accelerated growth as well. Be it hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and even insurance companies offering medical insurance, there has been a tremendous addition to all segments in the past decade. 

Professionals are required to run these organisations without any glitch. They ensure that the industry functions smoothly and expands with time. No wonder ample employment opportunities have been generated in the last few years and youngsters are aspiring to make a career in healthcare management. 

Understanding the sector

Healthcare management includes taking care of administrative needs of a healthcare institution. There are several aspects to it — accounting, staffing, marketing, public relations, human resource management and several others. Healthcare managers are primarily responsible for delivery of healthcare services in an efficient manner to the patients.   

Eligibility

The minimum qualification required for healthcare management is an undergraduate degree in hospital administration. The course is called Bachelors in Hospital Administration. A candidate should have minimum 50 per cent marks in Class XII with biology as a subject. After completion of this course, one can either go for a job in the healthcare industry or master’s degree in healthcare management. There are options of Master’s in Hospital Administration or MBA in hospital management. These courses can be done even by those who did not have science as a subject at graduation level, but having a biology-related subject in graduation like microbiology or biotechnology is a must.

A candidate with Master’s in Hospital Management will usually be placed at mid-level management in fields like human resources, government relations, information systems, finance, material management, public relations, front desk and reception, patient satisfaction and many others. 

The job demands…

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, including supply of food material to doctors and nurses and many others. 

At times, one is required to work in shifts and under severe pressure. There are cases where staff is given accommodation on the premises if their roles and responsibilities so desire. One also has to work in emotionally charged atmosphere and there is minimal scope for mistakes. Given that hospitals have to deal with emergency situations, candidates can be asked to report at work anytime.

Count the advantages

There are several advantages too. First, it is a noble professional and second, it promises work satisfaction. The remuneration is good. India has also become popular as an evolving medical tourist hub of Asia. This means hospital chains are deploying staff to generate income from international patients. Thus, 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. Those with master’s degree can earn more with salaries ranging from Rs 6-12 lakh per annum. Candidates with MBA in hospital management can even earn up to Rs 25 lakh per annum. MBAs are generally placed in rehabilitation centres, group medical practices, community hospital and outpatient clinics. 

There are many colleges and universities offering such courses. You must, however, pick the right institute after a thorough research.

More in the offing

With the ever-evolving healthcare industry and India 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 creating new jobs and requirements for healthcare professionals In India. Those who have a computer science degree at undergraduate level and then 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 healthcare services is something that will change the dynamics completely and push up the demand for doctors and healthcare professionals further. A result of this development will be that more hospitals will come up to cater to those patients who did not avail medical services so far because of lack of financial resources. If one is willing to work hard and accept challenges and likes meeting people from different parts of society, then hospital management is the career to go for. 

Institute watch

For bachelor’s degree
Kasturba Medical College, Bangalore
George College, Kolkata

For master’s degree
AIIMS, New Delhi
University of Delhi, DU

For MBA
Chitkara University, Chandigarh 
Manipal University, Karnataka 

The writer is group head, HR Paras Healthcare

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