Is the Health Care Sector Recession Proof?

As per my belief, in times of economic instability, even the footing of the medical industry becomes rickety along with other sectors but that does not coax me to deem Health sector vulnerable to recession. By putting forth the reference of statistical data, I would like to highlight the fact that the pharmaceutical division of our country saw an estimated 24 percent growth when it came to hiring professionals in the medical sector. And seeing this trend, our country can only expect this percentage to rise in the near future. As a matter of fact, I strongly consider the pharmaceutical sector of our country as an active recruiter now and even in the near future.EXPANSION OF MAJOR PHARMACEUTICAL FIRMSLet us throw light on the fact that some of the heavyweight medical firms of our country have immensely opened their wings and have expanded their operations to other parts of the world. These very firms have affirmed their presence in the medical sector with the help of plethora of acquisitions as well as mergers which in turn, has resulted in the opening of surfeit of jobs in the health industry. One of the primary factors which play an instrumental part in the progress of major pharmaceutical firms is the growth rate as well as the strategies for expansion across other nations. The growth rate of major healthcare firms has always been robust in our nation and these firms have always been coming up with lucrative expansion plans. This in turn has made the health industry of India, a billion dollar enterprise.Let us throw light on the growth in the export market. Over a period of 5 years, statistics tell us that the export of medical products of multi-national pharmaceutical organizations based in India has increased from a staggering USD 6.23 billion to USD 8.7 billion. Thus, this clearly shows a 21 percent increase in the annual rate of growth for the industry. So if we have seen an impressive increase in the revenue generated from exports, then it is quite evident that more jobs have opened up in the health sector.The pharmaceutical industry of our country has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade which drives us to believe that our country’s health sector will be included in the top 10 global markets tentatively by the year 2020. Healthcare is a sector that can never degrade owing to the rising medical demands of our population. The capital profits generated by healthcare heavyweights such as Ranbaxy is immense which is why, the healthcare sector as per my belief is quite invulnerable to recession.HEALTH INDUSTRY ON THE RADAR OF MULTINATIONAL COMPANIESOver the past decade, we have witnessed our country growing under the strong influence and tutelage of globalization. India certainly happens to be one of the most revered global markets in the present day and age which is something that has stolen the attention of well-known Multinational Corporations. The revenue of healthcare corporations has increased at a skyrocketing rate over the past decade after numerous mergers and international acquisitions by major Indian pharmaceutical firms. As a result of multiple mergers and acquisitions, the pharmaceutical sector of our nation has grown leaps and bounds henceforth, giving rise to ample jobs in the medicare sector.IMPACT OF INDIAN HEALTHCARE FIRMS ON AFRICAN NATIONSNot only has our country been a disciple of globalization, but the healthcare industry of our country has taken the form of Godfather for few of the African nations as well. It is a well known fact that the continent of Africa has been plagued with more diseases than any other continent in the whole world. This is one of the primary reasons why Africa at present is a hotspot for major healthcare firms who have expanded their wings deep within the continent. Surfeit of domestic Healthcare companies from India have made their way to Africa over the past few decades which has assisted in their growth and added more revenue.HEALTH TRACK RECORD OF OUR NATIONOur nation has had its own share of healthcare calamities but owing to the introduction of modern medical treatments and amenities, the situation has been tackled and brought down to a great extent. Healthcare has found its way to inaccessible topographical locations of our country and people residing in these locations have witnessed hospitals being constructed first-hand. This has not only brought healthcare facilities to rural and inaccessible nations but has also created plethora of jobs for people residing in those territories.Healthcare plays the most imperative role in shaping the economy of a nation. Furthermore, it is one sector of the economy which remains unhindered even if the economy falls as healthcare demands have always been steady or have increased at a steady pace.If statistical data is to be relied upon, then we will know that major cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, New Delhi and Vishakhapatnam have shown a relatively higher rate of Human Resource (HR) demands over the course of one year. Major hospitals have emerged in these cities giving rise to multiple prospects of employment in the health sector.OPENINGS IN PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTION INDUSTRYAt present, the prospects of employment for mid-level professionals as well as junior professionals is immense in the field of healthcare owing to the fact that the pharmaceutical magnates of our country are strongly and robustly oriented towards increasing the manufacturing rate of pharmaceutical products that can be exported to different parts of the country as well as to other nations across the world. There used to be a time when healthcare was not viewed from the aspect of business but over the course of a few decades, many major healthcare firms have developed a wider understanding and have been seeking inspiration and brainwave from other multinational healthcare firms which have expanded their operations across various continents.ASPECTS OF MANUFACTURING PROCESSES OF HEALTHCARE COMPANIESLet us consider various aspects of the manufacturing processes that every healthcare enterprise employs.1. Product Development: – (htt1) The survival as well as growth of any healthcare firm chiefly lies in its ability to produce products that can be widely accepted by the population. Not only should the product be effective enough to be accepted but it must also carry a justifiable price tag. An exorbitant price tag will have relatively less takers than a reasonable one. Every pharmaceutical company must come up with a well defined process oriented towards giving shape to new product ideas. This does not end the story as the product needs to be channelized into the market in such a way so as to generate money-spinning revenue for the company so that it can increase its production. The aspect of innovation in technology has always been high in the field of healthcare which is one of the reasons why money always keeps flowing through health sector.2. Inventory Management: – (htt2) Owing to the booming revenue of medical institutions, there are no compromises when it comes to inventory management. Furthermore, in order to manage and safeguard inventories, we need professionals who can handle these equipments. This is where the door opens to a new niche of employment. A hospital can provide employment in the most diverse niches than any other sector which is one of the primary reasons why the profit rate of healthcare is always booming.3. Sales & Marketing functions: – (Wolper, 2004) The sales and marketing divisions of major healthcare firms are the dark horses that have played a vital role in instigating a strong presence of the firm on a global platform which in turn has made the healthcare sector immune to any form of recession. The expansion of marketing function in the healthcare industry is possible only when the whole structure of economics in the pharmaceutical sector of a company is rigid and strong. Henceforth, primarily due to the fact that sales and marketing of pharmaceutical products goes a long way in ascertaining a profitable track record for healthcare firms, there are least prospects of any downfall in the healthcare sector.In the present day and age, the health care sector is highly seeking the assistance of senior-level professionals apart from juniors and mid-level workforce. Pharmaceutical scientists, clinical research specialists as well as radiologists are nowadays in high demand owing to the fact that they are actively involved in giving shape to new form of drugs that can bring about a groundbreaking change in the whole dimension of health care in the country. Multinational companies are heavily investing in the health care sector especially in the field of collaborative research so that more and better drugs can be discovered for the betterment of the population.Henceforth, the health care sector is recession-proof as per my belief.

Affordable Health Care – A Dream Or Reality?

Do you really have an idea how essential affordable health care is for every American citizen? Affordable health care ensures appropriate medical care facilities so as to keep the future of progeny secured beforehand. Nothing comes easy as it seems to be and affordable health care is too distant a dream. Most of the medical treatments are just not in consonance with the size of an average American’s pocket. In such dire conditions what one needs is an affordable health care which entitles you to have secured back up whenever your family requires proper medical attention.Even if you seek a simple body diagnosis, then do not expect best health care because the cost would drain half of your month’s salary. What would be the case if you have to undergo some major medical treatment, you will end up taking medical loans which will be a liability on your children in future. Spare yourself from such atrocities of medical expenses and resort to an effective affordable health plan which takes cares you health.In such conditions it becomes essential to find out ways for best health services. Instead of waiting for expenses slashing down to ground you can opt for following steps* Prescription drugs are indeed effective ones but you can ask chemist to provide you a cheaper alternative for the same prescribed medicine. Do not fret; cheap prices have nothing to do with the quality of drug. It’s just that few brands have high cost and some others offer the same stuff in lesser prices offering you an efficient health care service.* If you are really looking for an alternative, you can buy over-the-counter drugs as well. These are cheaper and the difference lies just in their packaging and pricing.* Almost every town has a medical school. Go to medical schools as they offer affordable health care that would not step up your budget.* If you seek routine check up, then instead of trundling to a hospital you could simply wait for next community health fair. Doctors, nurses, and technicians are experts and can provide required health care service in an efficient manner.* If you really looking for alternative, try avoiding weekend stay in hospitals as much as possible. Since on weekends most of the medical institutions are closed and ones that are open demands hefty fees. So, Monday would be a far better option for an affordable health care.* One of the best way to ensure best health services is to check for affordable health insurance plan which would cover your all medical expenses. Make sure you apply in-person to have clear idea of what is at stake.* Lastly, affordable health services can be acquired if you will scrutinize your medical bill for hidden charges rather paying it immediately. Medical bills are mostly in the form of codes, figures, and accounting which none except medical practitioners can decipher. It should be your motive so better tally the invoice with what all services you have received, negotiate on charges incurred, and bargain enough. This is up to you to turn your expensive treatment into an affordable health care

Why the Concept of High Quality Health Care While Making Big Profits Is Often Misleading

Many healthcare facilities do not focus on achieving the objective of providing high quality healthcare to patients. Some of these facilities are primarily focused on profit making. Many of these companies employ business savvy individuals to run their operational departments/business departments. Consequently, the operational managers at some hospitals, nursing homes or home care agencies may not have clinical backgrounds.The decision to hire business savvy operational managers who have no clinical background may have an adverse impact upon the quality of healthcare in many settings. These individuals usually do not prioritize patient safety or optimal patient outcomes. Some operational managers may strategize and assign some of the functions of an operational manager to nurse managers while dictating all actions that must be taken by the nurse manager. A nurse manager who is deputized to this role may be constantly pressured by his or her non clinician superior to ensure that the facility shows a profit, or else.High quality healthcare and profit making can co-exist. However, this seldom occurs in many places. An appropriate business model must be implemented in order for high quality healthcare and profit making to co-exist. High quality healthcare means providing care that is tailored to meet the needs of patients. Well structured health care environments have successful business models in place whereby appropriate and highly trained individuals are placed in key positions.Individuals in key positions are those individuals charged with making important decisions within the company. Failure of healthcare businesses to utilize appropriately trained individuals within their business models may lead to dissatisfied patients, debilitation or death.Patient Safety May Be Compromised in order to make the NumbersThe clinical staff in some settings may find themselves on different trajectory courses from the operational department. An operational manager focused on making a profit may disregard the safety needs of patients. This may not be surprising to those who work in the healthcare arena.Nurses and Certified Nurses Assistants (CNAs) over the years have found themselves with fewer resources. Despite limitation in resources they are still somehow expected to achieve positive results. Decisions to limit resource to staff are usually made by operational managers or by nurse managers deputized to these roles.Focusing on profit making at the sacrifice of high quality care is a common practice in healthcare settings. Some time ago, staff members in a dialysis unit were each given several pairs of gloves in a Ziploc bag. The staff was told by the non clinical operational manager that this was their quota of gloves for the day. The high risk of infection and high probability of cross contamination from blood was never factored into that decision.One nursing home apparently pressured into cutting costs was known for its chronic absence of gloves and soap. Certain floors at that facility had the permanent smell of feces and urine.In order to save money, the operational department at a home care agency refused to comply with the clinical manager’s directive that more than two hours of paid field training was required prior to thrusting nurses upon innocent patients. The operational manager/ account manager at the same home care agency opposed Child Protective services to be called into a home out of fear that the child’s family would get upset and remove the contract from the agency.One nursing home advised staff that certain depleted supplies that were needed for daily patient use could not be shipped over night as the company would not pay for them. A CNA in that nursing home poignantly asserted; “The only time that we have adequate staff and adequate supplies in this place is when the State is expected to show up.”The aforementioned acts may sound egregious to an individual with clinical training but not to someone focused on making a profit.Cutting cost at the expensive of patient safety may result in great savings. However, the individuals who make these decisions cannot in good faith contend that their overall objective is to provide high quality healthcare to patients. Moreover, the ability to make decisions that affect patient safety and comfort also shows who has the power within certain healthcare settings.Clinical Department’s Dilemma in not meeting the Expectation of the Operational department.Where patient safety is compromised due to business decisions, many nurses are afraid to make reports to outside agencies. This is often in conflict with the training that nurses receive in nursing school.Some nurses may recall that while in nursing school, there were professors who constantly emphasized that; “Nurses are agents of change.” After real life exposure to the healthcare system, some nurses may actually question this idea or refuse to believe it.How much change can an individual nurse implement within his or her place of employment? Healthcare facilities focused on profit making are unlikely to change their policies and procedures due to a nurse’s recommendation. Often, when changes are implemented in healthcare settings, it is due to a law suit by a patient, or because of aggressive intervention by a state agency.One New Jersey nurse was told by her nurse manager not to cause trouble when doctors refused to comply with a particular state regulation that required doctors to be present during the emergency performance of a certain procedure. The justification was that the company could not afford to lose contracts with certain facilities where those doctors had their patients. When the nurse refused to comply, the supervisor made the nurse’s continued employment with the company unbearable. Here, profit making was prioritized over patient safety.On another occasion, a nurse was told by her manager that she was required to be productive. As such, she was instructed to leave patients during the performance of a medical procedure to do routine cleaning of equipment in another part of the department. When the nurse refused, the supervisor retaliated against her.Employers bent on retaliation may go as far as the Texas doctor who tried to have two nurses criminally prosecuted after they reported him to the Board of Medicine.As such, many nurses are afraid to make waves and afraid to report matters to outside agencies. Reporting matters to agencies such as the Board of Health or Child protective Services usually result in immediate loss of employment for alleged unrelated reasons.Nurses who take it upon themselves to become “agents of change” may also find also themselves labeled as trouble makers and unable to find employment with other companies. The harsh reality is that employers still give bad references to employees. In 2013, a home care agency requested an employee reference from the hospital where an applicant was formerly employed. The hospital advised the agency that it had terminated the employee whose reference was requested, because she did not suit its needs.Personal SacrificesConscientious nurses often find that the most that they can do, is to give the best care possible, as there is little that they can do to change company policies and procedures.More often, giving the best care possible is done through personal sacrifices. One common personal sacrifice that nurses make is working off the clock in order to complete assignments or documentation. One supervisor at a health care facility advised nurses that punching out late was the same as stealing from the company. Some nurses at that facility felt that there were too many loose ends at the end of their shifts and often punched out late. While some of nurses stayed on the clock and completed their tasks, others punched out, then went back to work to complete their assignments.The supervisor at that facility chose not to understand that where numerous nurses were placed in the same position of not being able to complete their work, that the volume of work imposed was unconscionable. The supervisor told the nurses who complained about their situation, to just find a way to finish the work. Punching out late was not an option.In another situation, a supervisor made it known that a particular procedure must be completed within a specified time frame. Nurses would start working off the clock as they felt that their jobs were at risk for not completing the procedure within the abbreviated time frame. These nurses punched in to work only after a substantial part of the procedure was completed. By punching in after some time had elapsed, their time cards would not reflect that they took a longer time than was mandated.Many nurses who are forced into such behaviors often never consider making reports to labor boards.Cutting of Corners for SurvivalLimiting of resources may force staff with weak personalities into bad behaviors.One nurse reported that during her employment with a specific Nursing home, she frequently was unable to complete her medication pass and dressing changes on time. She found herself working late several days per week. She was able to complete her tasks only by starting these tasks much earlier than recommended. The nurse later discovered that there were other nurses in the same condition who apparently found a way to deal with the situation.Many years after leaving the aforementioned place of employment, the nurse sat down with a former co-worker to reminisce about her experience at that particular facility. The nurse asked her former co-worker, how was it possible for one nurse to give so many different medications to so many patients on one ward? Many of the medications required crushing and administration via g-tubes. The other nurse explained that such situations were generally managed by giving only those medications that were important. Simply put, some medications were never given. Surprisingly, this behavior still persists today in healthcare facilities.Arguably, the average nurse does not engage in wrong doing. However, it would seem that facilities that place profit making above patient safety or lose focus as to why they exist, implicitly encourage these bad behaviors.SolutionThere is a solution to remodeling or creating healthcare environments where profit making and high quality patient care are equally valued. One solution is to hire only clinically trained employees to manage all aspects of healthcare facilities. This includes CEOs, account managers and administrators.A Masters Degree in Health Care Administration program may offer courses such as Leadership Skills, Health Informatics, accounting, marketing and planning as part of the curriculum. However, none of these courses prepare individuals to connect with patients the way doctors and nurses are taught to connect. A non clinician is unlikely to lose sleep if a patient is harmed from poor quality healthcare. A non clinician operational manager may be more focused on the financial impact of a medical mistake. Consequently, the clinical training that nurses and doctors are required to undergo may be instrumental in deterring certain profit motivated behaviors that non clinicians are often willing to tolerate.All health care management training programs that are offered by Universities should include a lengthy clinical component. All students in these programs should be required to get practical training in clinical settings before qualifying for their degrees. In-depth education about disease process, impact upon patients, appropriate nursing and medical interventions may change the mind set of these profit focused individuals.Similarly, all medical and nursing programs should incorporate a comprehensive business and operational component. This will ensure that all persons who work in health care businesses are equally qualified and motivated to ensure high quality healthcare to patients while making a profit.ConclusionHigh quality healthcare can co-exist with big profits. However, steps must be taken to provide college level clinical training to individuals charged with managing the operational and business departments of our healthcare facilities.© copyright 2014 Cecile Portilla. All rights reserved.