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Healthcare management students to get practical training at Goa government hospitals

The Goa Institute of Management (GIM), which has been running a healthcare MBA programme for a year, has now entered into a partnership with the state government to enable its students to access government-run medical facilities. Ajit Parulekar, professor and dean of the healthcare management programme at the top business management school in the state, told IANS in an interview that it was important for students to understand how government sector hospitals function.

'Finding an efficient healthcare manager is a challenge even today. The challenge is now to encash opportunities by professionally better-equipped managers, who are categorically trained for this sector,' Parulekar said. The official said that healthcare was one of the booming sectors in the country and that it needed better and effective management to reach optimum results and opportunities.

With the central government focusing on investment in healthcare as a tool for enabling sustainable development and launching ambitious nationwide initiatives like the rural and urban health missions, increasing its GDP spend on healthcare from 0.9 percent to 3 percent, and the recent opening up of the healthcare sector to private players had provided a conducive environment for the sector to grow rapidly, Parulekar said. 'After the health sector reforms, National Rural Health Mission-like programmes have provided a huge platform to the healthcare management professionals to take on opportunities in large public health programmes and national health programs,' he said.

He said the GIM had a tie-up with the state government, so that students enrolled at the institute could gain exposure to work condition in state-run medical facilities, which are often critiqued for being badly managed. 'At GIM, students will visit government healthcare facilities in a systematic manner to learn the functioning and other important aspects as a part of their curriculum. GIM has a partnership with the government in this regard,' he said.

Claiming that GIM was one of the first B-Schools to offer an MBA course in management plus healthcare, Parulekar said that one of the unique features of the programme was that it incorporates a much higher field experience-based learning than any other MBA programme in the country. 'In addition to a summer project and course-related projects, students spend one day every week in a hospital or at pharmaceuticals, primary health centers, diagnostic laboratories, etc, in a structured programme to give them real-life grassroots-level experience,' Parulekar said.

Source: IANS

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