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Masters course in HETA to broaden the quality of Medical education

The University Grants Commission (UGC) in its recent directive has directed all the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) to implement the Masters course in Health Economics and Technology Assessment (MSc in HETA) in their respective campuses. Candidates who have completed their MBBS, BDS and AYUSH graduates will be able to pursue this course. It would be a four semester course of six months each. However, for initiating the Masters course in HETA, HEIs would need some clarity about the curriculum development from UGC.

Speaking to Education Times, Sibaram Khara, vice-chancellor, Sharda University, Greater Noida (UP), says, “We offer many types of healthcare related courses along with some courses in Management and Economics which also focus on the healthcare management systems. In addition to this, we have already designed courses related to Economics and Healthcare Management under the branch of MBA that puts us in a good position to implement this master course in MSc (HETA) effectively as directed by UGC. Firstly, for implementing this Masters course, the course curriculum would have to be developed and the duration of the programme would be of two years as it is an MSc programme. However, we would want more clarity from UGC in the form of guidelines related to curriculum development for this course which would help us in developing the course content for this Masters course. Once we get to know some more details, we would also involve experts who will have a major role in the formulation of the curricula.”

“The purpose behind teaching this course is to ensure transparent and evidence based decision making in the field of Healthcare. In my view, topics like Logistics, distribution, Economics and effective healthcare management systems will have a major chunk in the course curricula of this Masters course. This is a vitally significant course which must be taught to the medical students because these days medical profession is interdisciplinary. This is to say that it is not only limited to medical expertise, but also equally relates to planning and economics of the healthcare services,” adds Khara.

Rajesh Nachiappa Ganesh, professor of Pathology at JIPMER, Puducherry, says, “The Masters course in HETA comes under the specialised branch of medicine which is ‘Preventive and Social Medicine’. There are certain branches of medicine where students do take this up as a focus area. UGC has taken this decision to introduce MSc in HETA so that more number of students are able to pursue this course and make healthcare management more effective.”

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