Covid has been catastrophic in every way, rendering even the most established systems ineffective. At the same time, it ushered in a deep understanding of priorities- one being developing the healthcare infrastructure. The pandemic pointed to the lack of preparedness in terms of offering healthcare to such a huge population daily for an indefinite period. With symptoms differing for every patient and a relatively slow process for identifying certain standard medicines, Covid-19 posed critical challenges for healthcare professionals, hospitals both private and government to reach out to every single infected person across the country. This situation called for a complete overhaul of the healthcare sector with considerable focus on training the manpower and developing a prototype mechanism for tackling pandemics.  

Let’s Deep Dive to Understand the Challenges Battled by the Healthcare Sector During the Pandemic 

  1. Poor Doctor-Patient Ratio and manpower- The doctor-patient ratio of India more or less has been 1 doctor for 1,445 patients during the pandemic which was in stark contrast to WHO’s directive of 1 doctor for every 1000 patient. Also, owing to poor infrastructural support, a considerable percentage of health professionals quit jobs due to the fear of infection. Furthermore, with health professionals getting infected themselves, there has been a defining shortage of healthcare professionals to tackle an ever-increasing exodus of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. 
  2. Lack of Investment in Healthcare- The pandemic exposed the country's skeletal and rudimentary health care facilities in its rural hinterlands. In poorer districts, there was a gnawing lack of PPE kits, testing kits and lab services. All this is attributed to the minuscule 2% of its GDP in healthcare. This lack of investment manifested in the form of loopholes in the medical supply chain wherein the connection between the hospitals and medical centres to the suppliers and manufacturers of COVID essentials was very weak. 
  3. Lack of Investment in Technology- Investing in healthcare in India has always been about establishing well-equipped hospitals and health care programmes. It has seldom been about investing in newer technologies that help track and manage communicable diseases. The entire healthcare system almost lived in denial of encountering a pandemic such as COVID-19.

At this point, healthcare veterans have recognized the need for a transformative approach towards Indian healthcare with increased emphasis on building a sturdy infrastructure and ushering in a complete behavioural change in healthcare professionals in terms of building newer skills and capacities at an individual level. So, at this critical juncture, the need of the hour is professional training that would equip healthcare professionals to effectively take charge and address the challenges posed by pandemics such as COVID-19. IIM Indore in conjunction with Hughes Global Education has launched Post Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management to equip healthcare professionals with management, communication and IT skills. 

The course content has been developed to cover domain and functions of management with great emphasis on healthcare informatics and innovations in the domain of public health. The whole idea of crafting such training to offer a transformative approach towards healthcare. Effective healthcare is not just about well-equipped healthcare centres with excellent specialists and nursing. Holistic health care is about effective management of communication, developing smart policy frameworks, adopting newer technologies and filling the gaps in the supply chain network.