Managing health-care sector

Health Care Management (HCM) is one such course that deals with the management of health-related programmes and organisations.

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Good management is a must for proper functioning of any organisation -be it educational, industrial, banking or any other sector. And for this, there is need of specialised human resources who are academically sound on the subject and are able to give the best output. Among the various management courses available, Health Care Management (HCM) is one such course that deals with the management of health-related programmes and organisations.

Pokhara University (PU) is the only University in Nepal providing HCM course in Bachelor's, Post Graduate Diploma and Master's level.The Bachelors in Health Care Management (BHCM) was introduced for the first time in Nepal in the year 2000 at the National Open College, Sanepa. Currently the college is offering all three programmes. Nobel College at Sinamangal has been offering Bachelor's level programme since 2006.
Learning managerial skills HCM is a subject developed due to the need for skilled manpower who could understand the serious issues related to health as well as running health-related programmes and hospitals effectively.

Dipesh Shrestha, Head of Department of Management at Nobel College explained, “Management is needed everywhere and for the better managerial service in healthrelated areas, the course Health Care Management has been introduced. Those who study this subject essentially get knowledge about trends and issues related to health care as well as managerial skills to run a health care institution or programme.“

Likewise, Minu Singh, a BHCM VIIIth semester student at Nobel College said, “HCM is a subject having knowledge of technical aspects of health care and managerial prospective which make the subject unique from other management courses. Because of the combination of these areas in the subject, the student needs to work in community-based health programmes as well as at management of the hospitals.“

Meanwhile, Nutan Kafle, Coordinator (Health Care School), National Open Col lege classified the course into three sections as “management section, hospital section and health care section.“

According to Kafle, management section covers all subjects related to management while hospital section includes aspects like administration and planning of hospital as well as internship. On the other hand, health care section deals with planning and research for health-related issues and trends.

While BHCM is a semester-based four-year course, PGD in HCM is a one-year course while MHCM is two-year programme.

Future endeavours
As the subject consists of topics that are related to working for both health care and hospital, the scope tends to get broad.

Hem Kumar Bidari, pursuing MHCM IInd semester at National Open College, is hopeful that “one can work in administrative department, human resource department, as a manager of any hospital or also in various NGOs/ INGOs that deal with health related programmes“ after completing this course. “One can also work as lecturer and researcher in health related projects,“ he further added.

Another student Sonia Rijal, studying BHCM VIth semester at National Open College feels the need for staff with academic background of Health Care Management in hospital management. “In Nepal, hospitals have often been victims of various attacks as they lack proper management.Had there been manpower with HCM background, such incidents would have been avoided,“ she pointed out.

Elaborating on the scope, Shrestha said, “The students can work either in communitybased health care programmes or in hospitals looking after the overall needs of the hospital -from management of human resources to beds to technical equipment for the hospital.“

To this Kafle added , “One can work in the human resources department, as public relations officer, OPD manager, administrator, manager, CEO and more.“

Gopal Kumar Gupta, a BHCM Vth semester student at Nobel College and Vice President of National Student's Society of Health Care Management elaborated, “In 2061BS, the government introduced a policy as per which private and non-governmental organisations working in health-related field must fulfil the minimum criteria and the hospitals having 50 beds must have one manager who has come from Health Care Management background and private hospitals are implementing this policy.“

However, government hospitals are yet to implement it, Gupta pointed out. “There are various hospitals in various regions categorised as district, regional and central level hospitals.And if the same policy is implemented in government hospitals, there are numerous possibilities of work for graduates of HCM.“

Challenges
The course is quite new and health-care organisations are still following the traditional ways -doctors themselves are involved in hospital management, making it difficult for graduates to get jobs, as per Rijal.

However, Bidari who is also working in a health project argued, “It all depends on the person where s/he must have a multidimensional quality and after finishing studies, one should interact and apply for a job.“

As the subject also comprises internship, students face problems during internship in hospitals where Singh shared, “The internship becomes more of an `observing' act where there is less exposure to practical handling and lack of guidance.“

Echoing similar views, Shrestha blamed, “It is a social responsibility where hospitals should help educational institutions but some of them have made internship period as a moneymaking affair.“

Eligibility criteria
Any student who has passed +2 level from any

COST
National Open College
> BHCM: Rs 3,95,000 (4 years); seats 48

> PGD: Rs 1,70,000 (1 year); seats 20

> MHCM: Rs 3,25,000 (2 years); seats 20

Nobel College
Seat: 45

source: Shrestha, Sangita (2012),"Managing health-care sector", The Himalayan Times,3 Oct 2012

2012-10-03 | EducateNepal

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