After teachers, the Delhi government is training doctors and administrative officials in the health department to improve functioning of hospitals. A batch of 35 health department officials — including the health secretary, medical directors and medical superintendents — attended a week-long programme at IIM Ahmedabad.
According to health department officials, the programme was held to improve leadership at the helm of hospitals in areas of purchase, management of personnel and communication with patients.
“As many as 30 to 35 officials and hospital administrators attended the programme from June 20 to 25. This was part of an ongoing effort to improve efficiency in service delivery at hospitals. Doctors who go on to become medical superintendents are usually not trained in administration; it is something they pick up on the job,” said an official.
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He added, “Hospital administration is a specialised discipline which has evolved around the world. Even in corporate hospitals in India, recruits have academic training in the discipline. This initiative looks to empower government hospital personnel in the area as well.”
A majority of medical superintendents who attended the programme are senior doctors who have been appointed within the last one to two years, said officials. “The intensive week-long programme was aimed at giving administrators an idea of upcoming areas of hospital administration such as maintaining transparency in purchases, building an updated hospital inventory, starting online patient records for both out patients and admitted patients, and optimal ultilisation of all staff members,” said a doctor.
Another official said redesigning public health systems efficiently was also discussed.
While Health Minister Satyendar Jain had announced that management professionals would be hired to take over the majority of administrative duties so that doctors can focus on patients, officials said the programme was held to train existing administrative officials.
“When the new recruits come in, they will take over specialised areas of administration such as sanitation and purchases. But for now — especially with the ongoing restructuring of the health system in Delhi into regional zones — medical directors can improve efficiency by attending the leadership programmes,” said an official.
He added that longer training programmes may also be organised for hospital administrators after considering feedback from the first batch.
While Jain did not respond to calls from The Indian Express, officials said he attended the concluding day of the training session Friday.
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