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Healthcare Education: The SIMSR Way

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The year 2018 has been pleasingly promising for the healthcare sector in India. The country witnessed an overall 15 percent growth in the healthcare sector and within the sector, the sectors such as medical tourism witnessed 22 to 25 percent growth.

This momentum got a boost by additional positive steps such as India – Cuba signing MoU for better collaboration, more than 20 major international deals, bringing more investment in the sector and the major announcement by the Government of India’s signature programme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ in September 2018.

Healthcare ecosystem around the world, especially in India, is highly complex and has multiple layers along with different dimensions. It comprises healthcare service providers, healthcare product companies, government/public healthcare sector, regulators, insurers, healthcare information technology providers, professional associations as well as academic institutions providing quality healthcare education.

The entire system is expected to work in sync with each other to bring out better health for the patient/ consumer who is at the centre in this ecosystem.

Academia has a very unique role to play in this. It is one of the major stakeholders which leverages effective interactions among all other segments.

Understanding the need, K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SIMSR) has launched a two-year full time, AICTE approved PGDM Healthcare Management programme in 2018.

As a leading private Management Institute in India, we decided to focus on four parameters to nurture the talents of students and create value in the healthcare sector:

1. Nurturing the talent by providing necessary knowledge along with grooming the skills required for future managers and decision-makers.

2. Creating effective interaction Article Connect with us on ehealthmagazine @ehealthonline eHEALTH Magazine elets videos january 2019 21 between students and the healthcare industry by promoting experiential learning through various means such as guest lectures, concurrent projects, industry visits etc.

3. Providing a global exposure to the students through organising international immersion programmes.

4. Building research and critical thinking abilities by promoting research amongst students and the faculty members.

We, at SIMSR, have made an effort to do significant contribution to all these four parameters. Our collaboration with Imperial College Health Partners (ranked 8th in the World University Ranking), UK, and K J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai, has helped us in building strong academic content with a focus on emerging technologies and global trends.

We have a good mix of industry and academic professionals on our Board of Studies which helps us in designing the course structure, getting experts from the field and providing opportunities for experiential learning for our students.

We have over 50 percent of the faculty from the healthcare industry who bring their practical experience to the classroom. Our academic partners K J Somaiya Hospital and Research Centre offer concurrent projects to our students.

We anticipate 2019 to be much more challenging as well as enthralling. We expect Ayushman Bharat to take a jump-start which possibly would change the entire healthcare scenario.

Internationally, India’s image in view of public healthcare is tarnished and it is often stated that despite a booming economy, India fails in providing access to basic healthcare to its underprivileged section.

We believe it is the time to change the view. Ayushman Bharat comes along with lot of dreams as well as challenges. The dream to provide health insurance worth INR 5 lakhs to more than 50 crore households is a utopian as well as humongous task.

It will be an arduous task for all the stakeholders to bring that on ground. New technologies such as artificial intelligence, digitisation, and machine learning are likely to come in the forefront to make these dreams a reality.

The new ecosystem will ask for a change in existing business models and need new sources of finance. It will also be interesting to see how existing classical healthcare services such as alternative medicines, counselling, yoga and meditation will make use of these modern technologies to find their groove in the new millennium.

Growth will also largely depend on development of manpower that would have a holistic understanding of science, technology, regulatory framework and will possess managerial and entrepreneurial abilities.

We, at SIMSR, are aware of these challenges and are gearing up to face these head-on. As a start, we are planning to create a platform called ‘Samavesh’ – an industry-academia connect on the theme ‘Healthcare 4.0: Myths and Reality’ in February 2019.

The event will be empanelled by experts from the healthcare sector and academia. This will help throw some light on the challenges of making healthcare ‘inclusive which is one of the important mottos of Ayushman Bharat. We are also planning to organise an international immersion programme for the students in a country which has a better healthcare system than us.

Our intent is to make our students firmly grounded in reality on one end and on the other, help them ascend the ever-expanding frontiers of the healthcare sector.

A small step to build a healthier India!

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