Jbs in the health services are not just for clinicians. Administrative and clerical staff are required at all levels in a variety of departments and non-clinical management positions are increasing every year. New fields are opening up all the time and certain roles, such as those in health economics management, are becoming more vital to the success of services as a whole. But what exactly do these jobs entail and how can you go about getting one?
Because health services are under more pressure than ever to deliver a high standard of care within budget, it had become necessary to apply economic strategies to the running of facilities to ensure that all services are getting value for money. This includes ensuring that a certain standard of care is achieved at the lowest cost and maximising any existing resources so that the patient receives the most value from the resource. It is a balancing act, which is exactly why experts are required.
Because the health service is a public body, the economist’s job here is slightly different. Any cost-cutting plans must retain value, so cutting corners is not a viable option. It becomes about sourcing the best items for the least money and ensuring that all purchases are used appropriately. Health economists are required to make studies of individual facilities or the service as a whole to identify areas for improvement and propose new and better policies that will maximise what is available and improve efficiency, thereby cutting costs and improving services across the board.
Due to the necessity of improvement, health economics jobs are growing in demand and this is likely to continue. Getting such a post, however, requires serious study and practical application. There are now a number of universities offering degrees in health economics, while the most popular route is still a masters. Postgraduate courses are ideal for those who have either studied economics at undergraduate level or who have a health-related degree and wish to expand their field of expertise.
Studying health economics at this level will give you the grounding required to take on such serious work, ensuring that you have the research and investigative skills needed to study specific cases and sites. In addition to this study, it is important that you have some experience in the health industry. If you are just starting out, an entry level research post may provide this for you, but if you are returning to school for your masters it will certainly have helped if you understand the sector.
Whichever path you choose to becoming a health economist, the most important thing will be this understanding of the services delivered. While it is true that you can have experts explain procedures to you, prior understanding of working within a public body will help you enormously, so this should be a priority. This experience, coupled with the necessary qualifications, will put you on the correct path and make you a desirable candidate for any vacancy.