Combining medical technology and the human touch, the health care industry administers care around the clock, responding to the needs of millions of peoplefrom newborns to the critically ill.
Industry organization - About 580,000 establishments make up the health care industry; they vary greatly in terms of size, staffing patterns, and organizational structures. Nearly 77 percent of health care establishments are offices of physicians, dentists, or other health practitioners. Although hospitals constitute only 1 percent of all health care establishments, they employ 35 percent of all workers.
The health care industry includes establishments ranging from small-town private practices of physicians who employ only one medical assistant to busy inner-city hospitals that provide thousands of diverse jobs. In 2006, almost half of non-hospital health care establishments employed fewer than five workers (chart 1). By contrast, 7 out of 10 hospital employees were in establishments with more than 1,000 workers.
Hospitals provide complete medical care, ranging from diagnostic services, to surgery, to continuous nursing care. Some hospitals specialize in treatment of the mentally ill, cancer patients, or children. Hospital-based care may be on an inpatient (overnight) or outpatient basis. The mix of workers needed varies, depending on the size, geographic location, goals, philosophy, funding, organization, and management style of the institution. As hospitals work to improve efficiency, care continues to shift from an inpatient to outpatient basis whenever possible. Many hospitals have expanded into long-term and home health care services, providing a wide range of care for the communities they serve.
[...] Nursing care facilities had a higher rate of Health care workers involved in direct patient care must take precautions to prevent back strain from lifting patients and equipment; to minimize exposure to radiation and caustic chemicals; and to guard against infectious diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. Home care personnel who make house calls are exposed to the possibility of being injured in highway accidents, all types of overexertion when assisting patients, and falls inside and outside homes. Employment As the largest industry in 2006, health care provided 14 million jobs— 13.6 million jobs for wage and salary workers and about 438,000 jobs for self- employed and unpaid family workers. [...]
[...] India Offers Both Best, Worst of Health Care Most of India's billion-plus people struggle with a public health care system that is overburdened in cities and virtually nonexistent in villages. On the other hand, private health care is booming, and the country's state-of-the art hospitals and highly skilled doctors even attract patients from countries where health care costs are much higher. The challenge before India is to make such top quality care accessible for the majority of its people. When Pardip Singh's elder brother fell ill with a severe nerve ailment in a remote village in the eastern state of Bihar, he brought him all the way to New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences - the country's premier government-run hospital. [...]
[...] The fast pace of development of the private medical sector and the burgeoning middle class in the 1990s have led to the emergence of the new concept in India of establishing hospitals and health care facilities on a for-profit basis. By the late 1980s, there were approximately 128 medical colleges--roughly three times more than in 1950. These medical colleges in 1987 accepted a combined annual class of 14,166 students. Data for 1987 show that there were 320,000 registered medical practitioners and 219,300 registered nurses. [...]
[...] A further area of research needs to improve the understanding of human resources in health sector appraisal studies "by incorporating functional, institutional and policy dimensions. Only then will human resources become in practice the most valuable resource within any national system". Conclusion There is a growing awareness that human resources for health (HRH) must be addressed more effectively within public sector reform. Stein thinks that HRH strategies need to be a "primary objective for public organizations". Public sector reforms have sometimes been characterized as containing the paradox of aiming to reward performance and empower staff whilst at the same time implementing downsizing and redundancy the "human costs of reform". [...]
[...] Public sector culture Although health sector reform has included elements of human resources strategies such as improved education and training, restructured salary scales and a closer link between performance and reward, it has also had a fundamental impact on organizational culture and public sector ethos, which in turn influence demand for human resources. A study of four countries in Eastern and Southern Africa concluded that "human resource development, personnel management and staff motivation are critical issues". Tanzania, although it has invested in human resources development, found that low salaries, delayed promotion opportunities and poor working conditions led to dissatisfaction in the workforce. [...]
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