It’s not different to learning rocket science in SL

27 August 2012 By In Future Students

Medical Administration is actually rocket science, says Dr. Kithsiri Edirisinghe, a Consultant Medical Administrator, speaking with his over 20 years of experience in the state and private sectors.  According to Dr. Edirisinghe,   there are many reasons to this challenging, interesting and most importantly growing field.

Rocket science focuses on the high risk levels of space travel, resulting in a safe and effective journey and Health care services is not much different. It is the responsibility of the Hospital administrator to adhere to the health regulations, ethics, professional and patient care standards in order to minimize the risks relating to patient safety. Managing high profile healthcare professionals is an important task carried out by the Medical Administrator. Doctors, nurses and paramedics are trained under different schools and they have different attitudes, egos, approaches and responsibilities in provision of care to the patient. The administrator has to align them to work as a team, whilst adhering to the organizational direction and policies. The consumer demand is another challenge, where the patient has many wants and needs to fulfill their requirements not only relating to patient care, but also his or her social, economic, religious preferences and to satisfy them is an enormous task. Furthermore hospital administrators also need to attain the financial targets of the hospital such as obtaining the required revenue to the hospital and reducing costs of care. Most importantly all these targets should be achieved whilst adhering to the required technical and service quality standards of the hospital.  Healthcare is a highly dynamic service due to the rapidly evolving technology in medical care where yesterday’s expensive high-tech equipment becomes obsolete today. The high demands created by health professional and also by the consumer, for modern technology will drive the Medical Administrator to validate asset utilization vs. effectiveness of care.

Due to the above challenges; it is not a surprise that hospital administrators are among the highest paid in the world today.  Median annual salary of Hospital administrators in international settings were $80,240 (Approximately Rs. 800,000 per month) in May 2008. The highest 10 percent earned more than $137,800 (Rs. 1.3 Mn per month). Locally a hospital administrator’s minimum starting salary would amount to approximately Rs 150,000 in Private sector hospitals.

  1. aging population, rise of communicable diseases and emerging new communicable diseases have given rise to a phenomena where there is rapid  expansion of the healthcare service industry resulting in the establishment of many new hospitals and aged care facilities and also the expansion of  capacity of existing hospitals all of the world. There is a high demand for qualified Health Administrators around the world as evident in the fact that the profession of Medical Administrator (ANZSCO Code 134211) has been included in the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) published in Australia in 2010. The growth in private hospital industry in Sri Lanka amounts to over 12% in today’s context.

Looking at the current demand, IIHS ( has formulated the Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital Administration to give necessary tools and techniques and industry orientation to face the challenges in managing hospitals and healthcare centers.  The program is developed to suit the working professionals where it is delivered over a year, through blended learning.  It consists of a face to face delivery once a week, and more self-studying by using Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). 

The program is designed in a very practical manner where candidates will have to formulate a business concept after studying the healthcare service industry and then develop the organization during the one year, planning and designing to build the hospital or the healthcare centre. It consists of 11  modules, namely strategic management of healthcare service, managing  human resources and organizational behavior in hospitals, Health policy, Medico Legal and labor law, Hospital Financial and health economics, Operational management of clinical and support services, Hospital information systems, management of Healthcare Quality and risk management, aged care services management and most importantly hospital planning /project management.

The program is designed for Healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses and other allied health science professionals who are interested in taking up administration.  It also allows the non-health professionals who are interested to pursue this field and they are required to take up an additional two modules, namely Medical terminology and Disease Pathology. The students will also have the option in taking two extra internship modules namely hospital project management and operational management.

This program is well recognized world over, especially in Australia and UK. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to complete MSc in Health and Aged Services Management in ECU in Perth, Australia and La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia. PGDHA graduates will get one year exemption of the two year MSc program.

Currently IIHS has completed 04 batches amounting to 40 candidates and many are working in hospitals after graduation in Sri Lanka and in international hospitals. Out of the successful candidates some have given their views about the program and are as follows:

Dr. Mahesha Ganagoda, a first batch student currently working in UK as an Administrative Executive described her experience at IIHS in the PGDHA; “I obtained my MBBS degree in St. Petersburg University, Russia and when I came to Sri Lanka, I found it a great obstacle to get through the ACT 16 (ERMP) examination.   But I did not give up and I completed the PGDHA and now I am working in an Administrative Position in a world class hospital, thanks to IIHS and it has given me necessary knowledge and skills. Finally I am happy to mention without any hesitation that PGDHA program is indeed a world class program and I invite all foreign graduates and get in to hospital administration”.

Dr. Susantha, District Medical Officer of Suriyaweva District hospital says, “I am fortunate to complete the PGDHA and I have obtained many skills and knowledge to counter the daily challenges that I face in administrating the hospital. The flexible learning hours and blended learning methods was an advantage for me, since I could learn without much traveling to Colombo whilst performing duties in the hospital.  I really like the Operational, Finance and Quality management modules and I am hoping to complete the second year of Masters in time to come.

Dr. Lalan Fernando, senior lecturer at KDU Medical Faculty mentioned that, “I am so privileged to complete the PGDHA program and I truly enjoyed my studying at IIHS with well experienced staff and good facilities at IIHS. VLE facility was a great asset and it is ideal for a working professional like me.  The program structure is a unique one where we developed a complete healthcare organization throughout the program where candidates could even sell the proposal that they have organized during this program. This has a great ROI as an investment in an educational program; therefore I invite all doctors and other health professionals to participate in this wonderful programme. 

Mr. Indrajith Wijesuriya who recently completed the program mentioned; “I am an Engineer by profession and I had doubts in completion of the PGDHA program initially.  The simple structure and the delivery mode have helped me to complete the program successfully.  This has given enormous strength and skill for me to organize the hospital that I am in the process of building.  Post graduate Diploma in Hospital Administration is an interesting program where it has a Operational management and a project management focus in hospital administration.

Dr. Jesu Nerushan, Medical Administrator of Northern Central Hospital, mentioned that “I was fortunate to get admitted to the PGDHA and whist in the program I managed to obtain a position as a Project Manager in Northern Central Hospital, Jaffna. Hospital planning and project management was a great support for me to perfume my duties as a project manager last year and today I have been appointed as a Medical Administrator in the same hospital in its operational phase.  This is great opportunity for all Medical graduates whose opportunities are limited in Clinical field and many opportunities are available in Hospital administration.

Registration is now on for limited seats of the program. For more information and registration please contact IIHS on 0114 65 11 44, 0774 14 23 98 or 0773 11 43 81 or visit No. 704, Negombo Road, Welisara.

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