Exploring the relevance of “SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT” in healthcare


The Sankara Nethralaya Academy as part of its ongoing initiatives towards enhancing and streamlining operational efficiency of healthcare delivery joined hands with the Confederation of Indian Industry – Institute of Logistics a leader in the field to exchange ideas and explore the role of Supply Chain Management in the Health Care Sector. The two leaders in their respective areas organized a seminar on 17th August 2013 at the Sri.V.D.Swami Auditorium towards this objective.

Welcoming the gathering, Ms. Akila Ganesan, Senior General Manager, Sankara Nethralaya & Registrar, the Sankara Nethralaya Academy observed that Health care sector was a “Sunrise” sector that provides evergreen pastures for growth, without stagnation. Realizing this need for Supply Chain Management systems in Health care, the Sankara Nethralaya Academy has designed and launched niche programs, the first of its kind in the history of health care sector in association with the Confederation of Indian Industries and the Institute of Logistics, to groom competent professionals in this field, she said.  Ms.Akila Ganesan profusely thanked Dr.T.V.Subramaniam, TQM guru for bringing about this alliance.

Sri.K.V.Mahidhar, Head – CII Institute of Logistics, touched upon the key role of the institute played in training and imparting knowledge to professionals in logistics and supply chain management, the response for which was remarkable, all over India. The services included rating of warehouse excellence, based on HR operations, technology to reflect levels in the road map for development and saving ‘green ways’, to deploy multimodal logistics. Mr. Mahidhar, underlined there were constraints in effectively implementing the supply chain logistics in health care sector due to fixed and rigid beliefs, which he felt could however be easily overcome by applying novel techniques as in manufacturing industry.

TQM guru and Advisor – CII Institute of Logistics, Dr.T.V.Subramanian, in his lecture, elaborated the guidelines, management of flows and management of interdependencies (linkages), and the base drivers that included facilities, transport and warehousing and information management and the importance of effective supply network management in health care sector. He subtly pointed out that in Health care sector, the human value of the patient, happened to be very critical, at both ends, firstly as the one requiring utmost care when he enters as a sick man and as a happy, satisfied man upon his exit.

Sri. K.Nagappan, General Manager (Materials), Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd pointed that India was becoming the hub for medical tourists, and Chennai was chosen by 50% of them for treatment. The picture of Indian health care industry showed an upward growth and necessitated synchronization of supply chain management of both men and material. There are challenges in integrating suppliers, logistics at different departments viz Operation theatre, emergency, stores and purchase to ensure optimum utilization of resources and handling varying volumes and service levels without having to rise cost, he added. Mr.Nagappan aptly finished by saying “Better supply chain, better health care”.

After the question and answer session by enthusiastic participants, the seminar concluded with a vote of thanks by Sri.A.Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy.

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