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Management takes its medicine
( 2003-11-04 22:23) (China Daily)

A new breed of hospital administrators has emerged in China with both medical and managerial skills.

The group -- of about 100 hospital presidents or vice-presidents from the nation's major comprehensive facilities -- recently graduated from a two-year course in Shanghai which was designed to bring them up to speed on modern enterprise management concepts.

It is part of China's push for reform within the healthcare sector. Up until now, hospital administrators have been medical experts in a certain field with no real management background.

At yesterday's graduation ceremony to officially mark the end of the course, Cai Renhua, head of the China Health Economics Institute under the Ministry of Health, said Chinese people were demanding more from their hospitals, prompting the need for skilled administrators.

The course was designed by the China-Europe Industry and Business School and the China Health Economics Institute with funding from United States-based Eli Lilly China.

Zhang Guohua, vice-president of the school, said the course was initiated to assist hospital administrators combat the challenges they face from competitiveness within the sector.

Course graduate Zhao Xudong, president of the Kunming Medical University Affiliated No 1 Hospital in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, said: "What we wanted most was to be trained systematically in the field of management.''

Graduate Yu Zhuowei, vice-president of Shanghai Ruijin Hospital, added: "At present, our country is quite short of professional hospital managers, so we must spare no time in learning the necessary management skills.''

Yu says he is eager to put the concepts and knowledge he gained into practice. Christopher J. Shaw, president of Eli Lilly China, said it will continue to fund the course to cover a second batch of more than 60 administrators as it is conducive to improving the management of local hospitals.

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