Career in healthcare management: Eligibility, courses available and how to choose the right institute

Last Updated: Mon, Aug 21, 2017 18:14 hrs

Healthcare industry is much wider in any sense with hospitals representing only 50% and the rest comprising of healthcare insurance, pharmaceuticals, medical devices manufacturing companies, clinical research organization, preventive/ wellness, healthcare I.T, home healthcare, Telemedicine/ Tele radiology, diagnostics, consultancy, medical value travel, healthcare BPO, independent doctor clinics, and the newer additions like ambulatory care services, palliative care, geriatrics etc. 

Advancements in medical science is helping people live longer across the world, and the growing population demands the need for more healthcare services (due to added disease burden of non-communicable disease like Cardio-vascular disease, Cancer, Diabetes, and Hypertension). In many cases this is further compounded by increased co-morbidities over and above AIDS, Ebola and epidemic break out of SARS, ZIKA virus and cholera etc. 

In the context of the U.S.A, another driving factor is the reform for Healthcare insurance which mandates that everyone have access to medical care. Therefore, there will be more health services required ultimately driving the need for additional qualified manpower to fill these positions. Even with the slowdown in the economy when many industries have lost ground in capital expenditure and in jobs, the healthcare industry has continued to expand (Over the past 10 years, healthcare business in the United States grew 134% (Fidelity). 

This expansion translates to abundant employment opportunities for those with the right skills and competencies for this thriving sector. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 28 percent of all new jobs created will be in healthcare by 2020 (~5.7 million jobs). One in three new jobs in 2022 will be in healthcare. The Growing Field of Healthcare (U.S.

Some of the reasons for the predicted rise in healthcare employment in indian context: 

Healthcare is the current sunrise industry due to: 

  • Rising demand and associated spending fueled by an aging population; growing prevalence of chronic diseases and comorbidities
  • Development of clinical innovations
  • Increasing patient awareness, and expectations
  • Corporatization of hospitals: a sudden paradigm shifts that are visible in the last 7-8 years  - a shift from an less organized to an organized structure (earlier seen only as a social sector but now there is a move towards corporatization.
  • Strong Indian economy
  • Increasing options for healthcare financing
  • Increased opportunities in healthcare delivery - better profitability (15-20% EBIDTA) and earlier Break Even (3-4 years)
  • Medical value travel from within the country and medical tourism from abroad to India as a destination of quality healthcare are affordable prices on a relative basis.
  • New health care insurance products with segmentation and increasing penetration tipping closer to double digits.
  • Point of care is changing: home healthcare, self-care. preventive care, alternative medicine, wellness and healing: Increasing popularity in Western Countries, availability of good infrastructure and connectivity, herbal tourism in Kerala.
  • Change in government policies, more usage of generic drugs, reduce implant cost, tax incentives in R&D of pharma products 

Establishment of industry accreditation bodies like NABH/ NABL for quality assurance

Healthcare management employment generation has a direct correlation, positively linked to the astronomical growth of the industry itself and the workforce requirements for the healthcare management professionals is expected to double from 3.59 million in 2013 to 7.4 million in 2022 (KPMG, 2015) 

The Indian healthcare industry is estimated to be worth US$ 275.6 billion. Currently, about 8 per cent of India’s GDP is spent on healthcare. India needs to spend at least US$ 80 billion more in the next five years to meet the targets. 

This is hardly surprising as the healthcare sector is diverse, comprising of hospitals, diagnostics, medical devices and supplies, medical value tourism, telemedicine, and being one the prominent contributors to India’s GDP attracting large number of domestic as well as international players. Also, India has become an attractive destination for medical tourism, clinical Studies, research and development with a massive growth potential. 

Eligibility or skills required to apply: Graduates from MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, Nursing, Paramedical streams, Engineering Graduates, All Science graduates, Arts/ commerce graduate with substantial healthcare work experience with good communication skills. 

Specializations available in healthcare management: With growing diversity in the healthcare system, Healthcare managers are needed in many settings. 

Employment opportunities will continue to grow, as will the job opportunities for those pursuing careers as Healthcare Manager and other supporting executive roles, graduates can specialize in healthcare analytics, I.T, finance, marketing, supply chain etc. 

Types of Healthcare Management Degrees and Careers 

Graduates aspiring to undertake PG in healthcare management will have good communication skills and maintain a positive attitude to life with determination to change and improve services on a constant basis, obtain deep knowledge of health industry regulations, issues of leadership that are unique to healthcare employers and departments, and more generalized knowledge about sound management practices, dispute resolution among employees and caring for patients’ needs to name a few. 

All this can be achieved by pursuing a formal Post graduation in Healthcare Management, learning core operations, product development, marketing, business development, finance and accounting regulations, and management styles that will keep healthcare organizations within their budgets, meeting benchmarks for customer care and positive outcomes, providing optimal direct patient care and guiding the organization toward future developments in the industry that will revolutionize the way care is delivered, improving access to healthcare and making healthcare affordable.  

Jobs available, salaries offered: 

There are emerging healthcare careers we never imagined (like medical communications and advertising, healthcare market research, entrepreneurship, artificial Intelligence, genomics, clinical trials management, sales and marketing of medical devices, healthcare consulting, healthcare BPO, geriatric care, home healthcare) and innovation is expanding from traditional product innovation to process and system innovation to provide better care, early discharge, and wellness. 

The salaries (Rs 6 lacs p.a. and above) in the field are typically given to entry-level candidates, most of whom will start with managing just a single department or sub-group of a practice, hospital or other care facility. However, there are core skills required for all of the above in order to optimize operations and bring innovative ideas to the healthcare facility in managing resources, business development through their employment or entrepreneur route. 

Health systems management requires assurance that specific outcomes are attained, that service areas within a healthcare facility are running smoothly, resources are used efficiently and that all departments are working towards a common goal. 

Healthcare managers with a formal PG in healthcare management are generally promoted more quickly into senior-level positions, including those that draft and implement company policies, strategic visions, and other important benchmarks. 

Another key determining factor of annual income is the size of the organization where the healthcare manager is employed. These might include long-term care facilities or private doctor practices. Large hospitals, insurance companies, and pharmaceuticals typically pay more, but they also expect their healthcare management professionals to be highly trained, responsible for numerous concurrent tasks, and capable of working without supervision on a regular basis. There is often a correlation between level of responsibility and the size of the organization, facility or practice. 

Future of healthcare field in India: Healthcare will grow by about 17% through the end of the current decade. That represents a significantly faster rate of growth than average, opening significant opportunities for healthcare management professionals. 

Important Factors to consider when deciding on a Business school offering PG course in Healthcare Management: 

Like any other program there are a few key factors that will guide students toward choosing the right PG program for their long-term career prospects: 

1. Accreditation 

Accreditation of degree programs is important, since employers in the field generally regard degrees from non-accredited institutions worthless. Pay careful attention to a school’s listed accrediting bodies, and give consideration to programs that are accredited by national prestige. 

Some of the most specific accreditations include AICTE, UGC, other renowned higher education bodies like universities, Institutes, and foundations etc. Indian or foreign universities. 

2. Resources and support from the Business school: 

Does the B school have a dedicated career placement office or a dedicated internship service? Is there a reasonable chance of contacting each faculty during the day to address concerns doubts or seeking important advice or information? 

These are just a few of the added resources and amenities that drive up the value of a PG academic program and help students make the most of every credit and every tuition dollar. Be sure not to sacrifice key resources, no matter how insignificant they might seem, when looking for a strong healthcare management program. 

3. Learning method: 

At a PG level, the course should have more emphasis on application type of learning and candidates should be encouraged to research into the subject with an investigative mind, of course supported by the faculty during academia and by industry during internship to gain hands on experience. Major focus should be on interactive sessions between faculty and candidates so that all learning is experiential. 

4. Content: 

Credible names in education will have developed content with rigor with direct inputs and consultation from the industry ensuring that content is up to date, relevant to industry through a continuous review process. 

5. Value for money: 

Candidates should overlook tuition fees within reasons and rather focus on quality of the overall program and a premium tag attached to the B school and how closely are the promoters involved in the day to day running of the concerned institute (also, how many faculty is from industry; internship host organization and ultimately chances of good placements). Return on investment is much higher if the course is done at a B school with a good track record of quality education – “this is the ultimate litmus test”!tive B schools offer affordable tuition fees and prestigious programs that will allow candidates to succeed in their career pursuits, taught by faculty with rich experience in the field, and paired with the kind of name recognition that few other institutes currently offer to their graduates. 

6. Industry connect: 

Try and evaluate the level of connect the program has with the healthcare industry across the spectrum of various disciplines. Also check on the industry experience of the faculty. 

The article was contributed by Dr Rakesh Verma, MBBS, PGDM (UK), the managing director of falcon skills and is also a faculty member of PGDM Healthcare Management Program – IFIM B School.He was also the former group head of learning & development, Narayana Health. 

IFIM Business School is one of the foremost and consistently ranked (top 1%) business schools in India, striving to become the leading management institution providing Bespoke Management Programs. 

The design, structure, curriculum and unique features of PGDM Healthcare Management reflects this approach and is among the first of its kind, pioneering in nature and well suited for a promising career Healthcare Industry.

The Course also focuses on soft skills such as Empathy, listening skills, Team building and networking, positive attitude, strategic thinking and leadership traits which are an important and key missing aspect in the many of the programs and helps build the right attitude to handle complex challenges confidently.