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Build a career in healthcare

Build a career in healthcare\

As disease patterns and priorities change so do delivery models, calling for expertise that combines management, IT, medical specialists and healthcare services

Health defines the future of the individual, the community, the nation and the world. In India, healthcare management was never a specialised function. Elsewhere, it is among the most important of jobs and it sees professionals from across disciplines. The focus of healthcare changes as the disease patterns and priorities change and so do delivery models. Overall, the focus is on diseases and their prevention. Manpower challenges of Indian health sector are very well known. The recent strikes by nurses in Kerala or by doctors in Karnataka brought out the skeletons in the cupboard. Amidst this chaos, the healthcare managers kept the system from falling apart.

Drivers of healthcare management

India’s healthcare sector grew about 25% per annum in recent years. With the rapid expansion, healthcare management professionals were in demand. The game changers are those with the ‘technical skills’, be it health, IT, soft skills or people skills. Health management requires a deep understanding, and a general management student may not pick up the intricacies of the sector and an epidemiologist will not be an effective public health manager. Others in the sector like nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists, radiologists are equally important. But, their growth prospects are limited. They see no prospects as they never expect to move up with their qualifications. With a course in hospital management, many join the managerial cadre.

While doctors are the key providers in healthcare sector, professional managers play an equally significant role: In ensuring hospitals operate efficiently; in creating a patient-centric organisation that takes care of patient experience beyond treatment, into total care.

A key role

Healthcare management will be the key in developing the sector. Building on education, research and analysis, it will provide thought leaders within the sector, and bring together public and private entities to meet the needs of the sector, and provide a platform for innovation and transformation.

With health IT and disruptive technologies becoming important, the industry is smarter. NASSCOM valued the Health Information Technology (HIT) around USD1 billion in 2016, forecast it to grow 150% by 2020. But, for driving innovations and transformations, a professional is required.

Healthcare managers would be able to play a major role in making NITI Aayog’s recently-articulated vision of transforming health services and outcomes a reality by taking up initiatives using the state-level Disease Burden data.


Private healthcare delivery models, be it corporate hospitals, health cities, nursing homes, ambulatory care, day care, diagnostics, medical travel, partnership models like 108 services or the emerging home healthcare services, are changing the landscape. Functional areas like operations, quality, marketing, finance and strategy can grow faster. So, technical competencies, combined with people skills determine career growth.

IT (HIT) and Telemedicine

Healthcare IT or HIT facilitates the job of a healthcare manager. Though cycle times for revenues and profits are longer, nearly 300 startups joined the fray in 2015. Health apps, from monitoring vitals to making diagnoses easier, were the most-funded health technology areas from 2010-2015. At the hospital, health IT costs $ 32 million to improve patient diagnosis, data management, e-prescription, pathology lab management, scheduling of appointments, case analysis, and so on. The managers’ job is facilitated by electronic medical/health records, cloud computing, 3D printing, mobile and IoT and will impact care processes in various settings: outpatient, in-patient, emergency/ambulance, ICUs, critical care, robotic surgery, home healthcare services, and so on.

Health IT managers have various opportunities beckoning them: domain specialists to interface with IT companies and hospitals, implementation, change management, requirements gathering, data analytics, and so on. Their value proposition is their unique competencies regarding healthcare processes, quality, management, knowledge of Health IT and support functions to software development/implementation as well as consulting.


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