Interview of Dr. Himanshu B. Gupta
published in International Newsletter for ACHE’s International Members
Q: Tell us briefly about your background in healthcare management.
A: I trained as a dentist and received a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from CSMSS Dental College (Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India) followed by postgraduate studies in healthcare management at the Indian Institute of Management—Ahmedabad, Symbiosis International University (Pune, India) and the Indian School of Business—Hyderabad. I still see patients every day.
Q: How did you arrive at your latest position?
A: In 2004 I was given an opportunity to coordinate medical services and recruitment at Seth Nandlal Dhoot Hospital in Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra. I streamlined care processes and motivated various teams to deliver patient-centric services. I have served as chief administrator for Seth Nandlal Dhoot Hospital since 2011. I am responsible for monitoring all departments, managing daily operations, business development, strategic partnerships, infrastructure development and new initiatives for in-home care and telemedicine.
Q: What was it about Seth Nandlal Dhoot’s mission that drew you to it?
A: Seth Nandlal Dhoot Hospital is a nonprofit and patient-centric organization known for excellence in healthcare. The hospital was established with the unconditional commitment to
maintain the highest standard of care and respond to the needs of the community in a compassionate manner. Being from rural India myself, I realize the importance of making healthcare accessible to and affordable for the community. As a healthcare leader, it is my responsibility to determine the best solutions for the community that align with the mission and vision of the hospital.
Q: What are your primary job responsibilities?
A: I am responsible for all medical activities in the hospital and for communicating with my top management.
I ensure the hospital meets the demands and needs of patients and staff by developing and delivering high- quality, cost- effective integrated clinical programs and service. I am entrusted to form and facilitate effective partnerships that expand the hospital’s outreach activities and contribute to developing a comprehensive integrated healthcare system for my community. I am also responsible for expanding hospital outreach activities and referral network, forming effective partnerships and facilitating development of a comprehensive integrated healthcare system.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in your current position?
A: As a nonprofit organization, it is a big challenge to keep pace with the rapid advance of medical services and techniques and maintain good facilities while keeping care at an affordable cost. I have to keep sustainable, long-term growth in mind when designing policy frameworks and conducting business operations.
Q: What is the biggest reward?
A: The biggest reward is being able to use my knowledge as a doctor and healthcare leader on a team that emphasizes patient-centric culture. Working with a big team aiming toward patient-centric culture that prioritizes patient care and satisfaction.
Q: Briefly describe the overall healthcare atmosphere in India. What are some of the key strengths of the healthcare field? Where does it need to improve to better serve the citizens of India?
A: India’s healthcare system faces the same challenges of availability, accessibility, affordability and acceptability found in much of the world. More than 70 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people live in rural areas with minimal access to secondary and tertiary care facilities, though primary care is improving. Across India, insufficient infrastructure and human resources are major concerns, as are the high rates of infant mortality, communicable disease and traffic accidents. The government is getting more involved in healthcare, from government health plans to price regulation. A growth in the popularity of public-private partnerships and an increase in public health communication campaigns and more investment in telemedicine are other positive developments. The highlights of the Indian healthcare system are its skillful doctors, paramedics, emerging healthcare education system and great advances in the field of clinical research. The branches of traditional Indian medicine such as Ayurveda and naturopathy are well accepted by large sections of society and bring a large number of medical tourists to our nation.
Q: How do you see the field of healthcare management changing in the next five years?
A: Healthcare innovations and data-driven solutions are growing rapidly. Healthcare management has to strengthen accessibility and affordability measures to assure compassionate medical care. Patient safety and employee satisfaction are ever evolving priority areas. Population health programs will also be growing rapidly in coming years.
Q: What advice can you offer for other international members?
A: We as healthcare leaders must cultivate an attitude of experimentation while staying focused on our goals. In this era defined by collaboration and cooperation—not competition—we must build a global network to empower capacities and capabilities. However, by far the most important thing for us is to bring about a global revolution to make healthcare delivery more transparent and responsive. ACHE is an excellent global forum for us to strengthen and reform healthcare by sharing knowledge, spreading awareness and cementing influential partnerships for the greater good of the community. I wish great success to all my fellow international ACHE members. Let’s stay connected.