Healthcare Management Vs Hospital Administration – Busting The Myths

Hospital administrators ensure that medical facilities run efficiently and deliver quality care but only managing the business operations of the hospital and are typically responsible for staffing, budgets, public relations, and other administrative tasks.


In contrast to Hospital administration, Healthcare Management is an exciting and growing profession with increasing opportunities in both direct and non-direct care settings.


Hospital administrators focus on direct patient care services, managing staff needs, and healthcare managers focus on the broader business aspects (like indirect patient care) of a healthcare facility beyond hospitals.


Direct care settings are “those organizations that provide care directly to a patient, resident or client who seeks services from the organization”. “Non-direct care settings are not directly involved in providing care to persons needing health services, but rather support the care of individuals through products and services made available to direct care settings.




Interestingly, hospitals form only 50% of the services offered by the healthcare industry – the remaining 50% represents Pharmaceuticals; medical devices companies (like GE, Siemens); Health Insurance and TPA; Healthcare consulting firms; Diagnostics (like SRL; Metropolis) and Radio diagnosis; Primary healthcare (like General Physician clinics); Healthcare BPO`s like Medical transcript services; Tele-medicine/ Tele-radiology; Medical Tourism/ Medical value travel; Healthcare I.T; Wellness centres; Complementary medicine (AYUSH hospitals); Home Healthcare Services.

Key Differentiators
Master in Hospital Administration (MHA)
Healthcare Management (HM)
limited to hospital operations, quality and accreditation, hospital facility management.
Over and above the hospital related services, curriculum also covers universal healthcare, healthcare systems, healthcare technology, public health/ public health programs, Insurance and TPA`s, International Marketing, Interpersonal skills, Healthcare I.T, Role of CSR, NGOs, Healthcare service planning and management etc.
Student Profile
Traditionally graduates from a medical background like MBBS, AYUSH, BDS have been undertaking MHA
Graduate from a science background, Medical doctors, Allied science like paramedics, nursing, BDS, BE Biomedical Engineering, BE Electronics OR with two years of direct experience in a healthcare setting can undertake MHM course





Only limited to hospitals
as listed in below column
Scope of Jobs
Jobs are largely confined to hospitals and nursing homes.
Campus placements are positive and candidates have great opportunity to work at:
a. Private hospitals or government hospitals,
b. Pharmaceutical companies
c. Health Insurance and TPA
d. Healthcare consulting firms
e. Diagnostics services
f. Primary healthcare e.g. GP clinics
g. Healthcare BPO`s like Medical transcript services
h. Medical devices manufacturing companies
i. Tele-medicine/ Tele-radiology
k. Medical Travel
k. Healthcare I.T and consulting
l. Wellness centers
m. Complementary medicine (AYUSH hospitals)
n. Home healthcare services 
Not offered under this course
can take the entrepreneurship route and start their own business.



Career progression
Extremely slow with limited growth because of lack of skills to lead the organization and even after 8-10 years’ candidates will remain at middle management level only.
A highly promising career progression for the high performers and the job is diverse and interesting.
Many of the assignments are project based during the initial part of the career.
Health care management professionals are on their way to become COOs, CEOs and Directors
Compensation and Pay scale
Hospitals are generally at the middle level of the salary quartile both within the industry as well as other sectors. So you will start at a low salary and at the most double the salary after 6-7 years.
Some candidates may choose to side track into H.R, Hospital marketing, finance and accounting but there the Healthcare Management candidates have an upper edge.
Pay is far more attractive compared to hospital administration because the candidate has learnt the nuances of managing all business aspects.
Normally the salaries are Rs 6,00,000 upwards depending on performance, experience and personal aspirations. Also salaries can grow multifold, quickly as many have an incentive component to the job contract.
Work atmosphere and work culture
Doctors enjoy the upper hand in most hospital over hospital administrators unless you are in the senior management position and this leads to a demoralized and discontent hospital administrator.
Job stimulus and job satisfaction is always on the higher side.
Unlike, hospitals, many of the non-direct care industries are MNC`s so there will be a wealth of experience that can be gained and opportunities may quickly arise to work overseas in different cultures.
Personality and aspirations
Stable job as a hospital administrator but has monotony and career options and diversity in job role is limited.
Most satisfying for doing something very different every time and sense of achievement despite the fact that it can be taxing due to frequent travelling and stakeholder engagements.
Working abroad
Not much outside India
Huge scope in GCC, UAE, MNC`s in U.K and Europe.




Vision/ Leadership
Limited to ensure continuity of services rather and maintaining stability in service.
Visionary leadership – Healthcare Management is more looking at a higher level of leading with larger perspectives 
Strategic planning
Mainly limited to budgeting and staffing.
Healthcare Management involves vision, mission and strategic goals and management. It focus on developing larger picture and to make short term goals to achieve it
What does the future hold?
Point of contact for patients will change in the future. Majority of patients seeking care will shift from large hospitals closer to the patient.
This point of contact could be patient’s home, primary care, day care, palliative and assisted care.
Only patients requiring intensive care, surgical procedures OR sophisticated diagnostic procedures will have to go to large hospitals.
Healthcare Management experts are highly favored by the top management and even part of the top team because they have a say in designing the future of the institution in terms of resource management, customer development, policy formulation, infrastructure management etc.
HM professionals will always command good job due to diversity of their role fitment. 



Mr. Sunny Kuruvilla 

Deputy Director and Head Of Administration Services, Bangalore Baptist Hospital

Masters Public Administration, MBA in Total Quality Management, Diploma in Hospital Management, MPhil in hospital and health systems management from BITS Pilani, NABH assessor at Quality Council of India.


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