History of Hospital Administration in India

In India, the hospitals were being traditionally managed by clinicians retaining their responsibility for patient care. These clinicians rarely had any training in management. As a result the hospitals were not managed as well as one would like it to be. The Bhore Committee, formed in the year 1946 submitted its report in 1948. The report showed the dismal state of health in this country. One of the reasons was that of inefficient management of the health systems in the country in the face of scarce resources.

In the backdrop of this scenario, the Government of India decided to revamp the administration of hospitals in this country. In pursuance of this decision, Dr. J.R. Mc Gibony, Professor of Hospital Administration, University of Pennsylvania, USA was invited to study the hospitals in India and make his recommendations for improvement of hospital administration in this country. One of his recommendations was to start a programme of training in hospital administration.

A master’s degree course in hospital administration (MHA) was started in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi in the year 1966. The initial objective was to produce teachers of hospital administration who will disseminate themselves all over the country in different states and help the local governments in starting training courses in hospital administration. The MHA programme of the AIIMS was open to, and still is, both medical and non-medical graduates with about 7 years of hospital experience. For medical graduates, the course duration is of 2 years duration and for non-medical graduates it is of 3 years duration. The intake of students per year was restricted to 2 to 3 students. Only a very few non-medical graduates took admission. Till date only 3 or 4 non-medical students qualified in MHA from the AIIMS.

Subsequently, similar courses were started, solely for doctors, in the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal and Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar. More recently, a course also has been started at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Chandigarh. National Institute of Health and Family Welfare has a course in Community Health Administration with a component of Hospital Administration. These courses award MD degree recognised by the Medical Council of India as a Post-graduate medical qualification.

Though the course started way back in 1966, the profession was not widely known among other health care professionals as well as among the general public. Like in other parts of the world, the profession of hospital administration in India also was known as a “Hidden Profession”.

Need for a Forum for Hospital Administrators

With the advent of corporatization of health care in early 1980’s, suddenly the demand for trained hospital administrators started rising. As a result, a large number of training institute imparting training in hospital administration started all over the country. The visibility of the profession was also started rising. In today’s hospitals, particularly in corporate hospitals, the hospital administrators are contributing very effectively and efficiently in the care giving processes

Unlike other medical professions, the hospital administrators did not have any forum where they could enhance their knowledge and share experiences. In rapidly advancing health sciences, in order to appropriately support the clinical professionals, remaining up to date in the profession is absolutely sine qua non.

Establishment of Academy of Hospital Administration, New Delhi

Realising this deficiency for the hospital administration professionals, Prof. R.P. Sinha, the first MHA of AIIMS, along with some other hospital administrators, prominent among them being, Dr. A.N. Safaya, Mag. Gen. S.K. Biswas, Maj. Gen. Ashim Chakraborty, Brig. (later Maj. Gen.) M. Srivastava, and Capt. (IN.) N.A. Khan took upon themselves the onerous responsibility of setting up a forum for hospital administrators. Due to the untiring effort of these dedicated stalwarts, the Academy of Hospital Administration was established in the premises of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the year 1987. The Academy, with nearly 1400 members now, has its own building at Noida, in the Capital region of Delhi.

Purpose of the Academy

The purpose of the Academy is to propagate the advances in the knowledge of the profession of hospital management with the ultimate objective of better patient care. The Academy serves this purpose through holding seminars, workshops, short and long training courses, management development programmes and so on. The Academy also offers consultancy in quality and accreditation of hospital and healthcare institutions, hospital planning and management. The AHA journal is published twice a year both in printed as well as in electronic versions.

Setting up of Kolkata Chapter of AHA

India is a vast country. The activities of the academy remains largely confined in Northern India through its headquarters at Delhi. In order to have pan-India presence, the Academy has set up some regional chapters.

Eastern India is poorly represented in the activities of the Academy of Hospital Administration. Medica Synergie, an integrated health care provider with its activities in the Eastern India realised this deficiency and took initiative through the existing members of the Academy to extend the activities of the AHA in this region as well. Thus the Kolkata chapter of the Academy of Hospital Administration was born in the year 2008 based at the Project and Consultancy Division of Medica Synergie. The chapter was originally located at C-163, Survey Park, Kolkata – 700075. Subsequently, the chapter was relocated at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, 127 Mukundapur, Kolkata – 700099.

Activities of Kolkata Chapter

Similarly to its parent body, the chapter organises seminars, workshops and training events for its members as well as non-members. Its members also take part in imparting training to certain established curricula of other institutes such as IGNOU, NIHFW, Kaziranga University, IISWBM, Coal India and so on. Some other activities are in the pipeline and shall be unfolded over a period of time.

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