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Physicians pursuing MBAs to prepare for AEC

Aug 31. 2012
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By The Nation

The changes to the hospital industry that will take place under the Asean Economic Community has alerted Thai physicians to prepare for these, with many now deciding to pursue master's degrees in business administration (MBAs) at established institutes wi

Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University has become a popular MBA choice for medical professionals, they said.

"Thai physicians have an advantage over competitors in the forthcoming AEC, as many [of them] were educated in the US and were trained to use advanced technology," said Professor Emeritus Dr Sawang Sanghirunwattana, director of the respiratory clinic at Samitivej Hospital.

"However, to be prepared, Samitivej Hospital has arranged for personnel to reach international standards. We have coordinated with Bangkok Hospital to provide services in this regard and ultimately, the benefit will go to the patients, who will get a better standard of medical treatment. The hospital has also conducted promotional activities in Asian countries."

Sawang added: "Since the study of medicine does not [include] management, this was the main reason for our decision to have physicians pursue an MBA at Sasin. Our aim is to have them bring business knowledge into work; management and research skills including in finance will help us manage our hospital budget through cost reduction and time efficiency. Sasin was our ultimate choice."

Dr Tatsanee Lert-uttasahakul, director of the Dentistry Centre, Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital, said that before attending Sasin, she did not have much knowledge about business management. Her decision to pursue an MBA is attributed to her managerial role at the centre.

Her choice to study at Sasin was based on its MBA programme, which was initially developed in collaboration with Thailand’s renowned Chulalongkorn University and two of the leading graduate business universities in the United States, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

"At Sasin, we can study and work in Thailand. Having enrolled at Sasin, I know I have made the right decision. I now have a broader vision and more businesslike thinking skills," Tatsanee said.

"As for the forthcoming AEC, Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital has been preparing management and services at the international level. We have provided training courses for our personnel in each department, including English proficiency and medical-speciality enhancement. We have focused on this particular issue as currently we have a number of foreign patients who speak English and are in need of specific treatments," she noted.

"We anticipate increased patient numbers after the start of the AEC in 2015. There will be more hospitals for patients to choose from, with competition definitely improving services. In addition, the medical profession will be able to work abroad more easily alongside more from abroad coming in to work in Thailand," Tatsanee added.

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