A recent article on healthcare industry CEOs focused on the gap between where they are and where they want to be. I believe, so far, we’ve been fitting squares in circles – that’s how C-suite hiring in healthcare in India is taking place. And no one is to blame ! There is an absolute paucity of talent and there is no pool to choose from. Family owned hospital owners are very confident in managing their enterprise very ‘effectively’. Their protocol is to select the senior most Medical Superintendent or a ‘star’ doctor to fill up the CEO position. The incumbent replicates his strong competency of the earlier role and hopes that EBIDTA and occupancy will have a geometrical jump.
If you have to draw parallels from another industry- say hospitality – several real estate developers think their hotels are far superiorly managed than Four Seasons! Till this mindset does not change, and we continue to be in an unregulated health care market, where the ‘perception’ is that we are in a ‘seller’s’ market, and we have the attitude of ‘take it or leave it’. This attitude is nowhere near global standards of patient-centric care. Probably the only exception to this is our single digit ‘corporate/listed’ hospitals where the evolution towards global standards of healthcare ‘management’ has begun, though this ‘porcupine pace’ will take its own shape and quality over time.
We are a unique healthcare delivery market and will always be – so let’s not compare ourselves with US, UK, Aussie, Scandinavian, and Chinese models.
The influx of private equity and corporate investment and the reverse proportionate reduction of involvement in day-to-day management of family in managing hospitals will be the prime accelerator of genuine professionals in C-suite positions in Healthcare – (even if they have not grown up in the industry) we already see single digit examples of that happening.
I truly believe that there has been a persistent ‘crisis’ kind of need to bring in transparency in Healthcare to change public perception. ‘One bad egg spoils the basket’ phenomenon is not helping change the usual public perception
‘we are overcharged’
‘Is a procedure required at all?’
‘why two stents?’
‘we were told it will cost x and now the bill is 3 x’
‘why does this injection cost Rs. x?’
Adding to questions of this nature, the lack of patient-centric counseling on treatment plan, rehab, implications, and cost options, often keeps professionals away. Family run small nursing homes continue to exploit patients and the insurance systems in our country.
In conclusion, let’s admit this industry will continue to grow by private investment only (at least for the time being) and that this is a ‘for-profit’ industry. Patients need high quality care and therefore, there is a dire requirement to mitigate abusive practices of ‘over medication’, corruption and lack of transparency. The goal is to be able to find business management skills and pay the C-suite heads similar salaries as that to star doctors.
(Disclaimer: This is a guest article contributed on Techstory. All content as well as views expressed are those of the author. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)