Higher Education in Health Care Administration
Dr. Rajesh D., Assistant Medical Superintendent at the Health Sciences campus recently obtained an M.Phil. degree in Hospital and Health Care Administration from the Birla Institute of Science and Technology (BITS), Pilani.
He shares his experiences and learning with readers. The account below is in his own words.
Healthcare in the twenty first century faces a number of issues such as changing demographics, advances in medical technology, workforce shortages and growth of information technology.
To meet the challenges, we need to develop strategic priorities related to growth, redesign care processes, develop effective teams and develop an organization’s knowledge and skills management capabilities. The M.Phil. course helped me understand all these aspects.
If working in a tertiary care center like the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), where quality initiatives are already implemented, it is a definitive advantage to pursue an academic program in healthcare management. Many of the best practices that we learn can be implemented, because systems are already in place.
An M.Phil. in Hospital and Health Care Administration is for those people who want to serve in a hospital. It is a hands-on program. The subjects include strategic management of healthcare organisations, health economics and financial management, quantitative methods, biostatistics, total quality management, project management etc.
There were three components consisting of contact sessions at CMC Vellore and the BITS Pilani campus in Rajasthan, online teaching sessions using web-based technology and thesis presentation.
My final semester thesis was developed on patient satisfaction with services provided by private health insurance companies.
During the study period, I had the privilege of meeting eminent practitioners from across the country who helped me learn more about current healthcare management practices in India. Among them were Mr. Sunil Kumar, COO of Narayana Hrudayalaya Bangalore, Dr. Sanjay Mehta, DMS of Medanta Hospital Delhi, and Dr. Ravi Prakash, Nephrologist at St. John’s Hospital Bangalore.
We were fortunate to receive training from teachers such as Drs. Jayaprakash Mulliyil, George Chandy and Suresh David from CMC Vellore, and from Dr. Usha Manjunath and Ram Shukla from BITS Pilani campus.
It was winter time and extremely cold during our sessions in Pilani. Mornings witnessed thick fog all over the place and we could barely see anything beyond a distance of 5 feet. The Saraswati temple in the heart of the campus reminded me of our University Headquarters at Coimbatore. The countless peacocks on the campus provided a rare treat.
Pilani campus also had an excellent museum of technology and library. A Nigerian citizen Dr. Adiwale, was my classmate. We are good friends now.
Overall, it was a rebirth of student life again for me and was a very thrilling experience. I could pursue such an intensive academic program during busy day-to-day activities only because of our beloved Chancellor Amma’s grace.