Most organizations have realized the importance of communication. The constitution itself proclaims Right for Information. This same stands true in Healthcare scenario. But there is a difference, as it deals with HUMAN LIFE, even a small mistake in Healthcare Communication can create a huge crisis. Healthcare is related to Wellbeing, Life, Medicines, and Health, basically connected to us – HUMANS.
The Healthcare sector has realized this which led to the birth of specialized communication consultants. These specialized consultants have resources trained and experienced to understand the ground realities, issues, Government policies, Information on new innovations, discoveries, etc and how these should be communicated to stakeholders. Here the stakeholders are quite diverse from patients to doctors, from shareholders to employees, from NGOs to even government agencies.
In Indian scenario Healthcare Communication is mostly managed by experienced resources, but it still lacks the understanding as involvement of doctors is least, since they are busy in consulting and it’s difficult to train physician’s ego. While international scenario involves physicians, as they are experts in the subject and issues of healthcare. One of the major reasons being physician to patient ratio is as high as 1: 1700 while in rural India it goes beyond 1:30000, so it is difficult to involve them as resources in the business of Communication.
To solve this issue Healthcare Communication Consultants should use experienced Medical representatives as advisers. Since most Medical Representatives are well qualified to understand healthcare specific issues and with experience of interacting with physicians, they also gain understanding on Healthcare issues and policies. Medical representatives are the marketing executives of the Pharmaceutical, medical devices manufacturing companies who engage with Physician’s (Clients) to understand during development of product and for promotion of the same.
It is also important to take help from KPOs working in Healthcare sector, since they are the people who conduct surveys, prepare reports on diseases and drugs, which are shared with physicians. This helps the physician’s to get better understanding about the products/ drugs and accordingly provide suggestions.
But, taking into account ICMRs (Indian Council of Medical Research) liberal policies in this era, lot of Healthcare companies are investing to develop communication strategy, to differentiate itself from the competition. This industry is also experiencing lobbying through govt associations, media and policy makers, so the portfolio of the Communication consultants has amplified. It is difficult to predict how big Healthcare Communication industry will grow. But the Indian Healthcare Industry is expected to grow @ 15% annually taking the total worth of this industry to $158.2bn in 2017.