Article: HR Challenges in the Rural Healthcare Sector – A leader’s reflection

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HR Challenges in the Rural Healthcare Sector – A leader’s reflection

Amid poor infrastructure and resource crunch, the healthcare sector is reeling under a crisis. With the incoming Gen Z, the industry needs to step up to meet new challenges
HR Challenges in the Rural Healthcare Sector – A leader’s reflection

Healthcare has never been given its due importance in our country. For a country with a population of more than a billion people, the quality of public healthcare system is quite weak. 

Condition of Healthcare in India

The public expenditure on health in India at about 1.2% of the GDP is amongst the lowest in the world. The National Health Policy 2017 aims to increase the health expenditure by the government as a percentage of GDP from the existing 1.15% to 2.5 % by 2025. In the rural parts, public health facilities suffer from poor infrastructure and human resource inadequacies. A number of Indian states are facing the human resource deficit. Many rural locations are facing acute shortage of physicians, technicians etc. and state of the rural hospitals are mostly disappointing.

Various policies and programs are being implemented by the Government for bettering the healthcare services for the rural population. In rural India, the number of primary health care centers (PHCs) is limited. 8% of the centers do not have doctors or medical staff, 39% do not have lab technicians and 18% PHCs do not even have a pharmacist. India also accounts for the largest number of maternity deaths. A majority of these happen in rural areas where maternal health care is poor.  In view of all this, it is imperative that the landscape of rural healthcare sector in India be strengthened. 

Private health care is expensive, unregulated and can be at times situated in a faraway place from the rural location. Also, private healthcare is mostly unaffordable by the low-income rural folks.

Due to non-availability or low quality of health care services, a majority of people in rural India turn to the local private health sector as their first choice of care. However, private healthcare is expensive, unregulated and can be at times situated in a faraway place from the rural location. Also, private healthcare is mostly unaffordable by the low-income rural folks. After the initial visit, they might opt to discontinue the treatment altogether. This would ultimately result in higher rates of mortality in the rural areas. 

Addressing the problem

One way to address this issue is to develop and promote academic itineraries. A candidate could undergo a year or 2 of training in rural health care. During the course, they can be taught to manage proper medical facilities under normal and emergency situations. They could also run awareness camps in various rural areas, educating people on safety and other healthcare aids provided to them by the government and various NGOs.

The recently announced budget of 2018 consisted of the world’s largest healthcare programme. Under the programme, our finance minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley announced a new flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing health insurance cover of rupees 5 lakh to a family per annum. The scheme will cover 10 crore, vulnerable families, with approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.

Aayushman Bharat programme is also launched wherein, 1.5 lakh centers will be set up to provide health facilities closer to home. Rupees 1,200 crores will be allocated for this programme. 

Overall, along with the schemes launched by the government for the healthcare sector, imparting knowledge and building a base of educated and trained rural healthcare experts seems to be the long-term solution for improving the rural healthcare sector in India. 

What is Metropolis doing?

Speaking of Metropolis, approximately 28% of the workforce is based in tier 3, tier 4 cities and in rural locations. Metropolis is on a growth path. An overall expansion would imply manpower expansion. We will be acquisitioning talent. Metropolis uses various metrics to devise its manpower growth, which is further related to the revenue growth plan. 

Currently, the millennials form a substantial part of our workforce. Engaging, retaining, rewards & recognition, orientation, career planning, learning & development are currently deployed for the workforce.

Metropolis Healthcare Labs compensation and benefit policies are aimed to ensure that there is minimal difference between salaries across tier 1 to tier 4 cities and in the rural areas. In the previous year, the HR team has strengthened the engagement and R&R initiatives in tier 3 and tier 4 cities. 

In the near future, the gap between rural & urban workforce would be narrowed. As organizations would be dealing with Generation Z or Centennials (born roughly between 1995 and 2005) who would be more global, knowledgeable, tech-savvy, would have higher expectations and thus would be more sensitive to work culture, engagement, integration, up-skilling and growth. HR will have to focus more on understanding them, developing a new set of analytics which would give HR better control over softer aspects of organizational development and assist them in course correction. At Metropolis, the focus is on engagement, rewards & recognition programs, transparency is brought in to keep the culture and communication open and vibrant. 

Topics: Employee Relations, Compensation & Benefits

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