Healthcare management is the process of overseeing the operations of any healthcare organisation, such as a hospital, clinic or research centre. How well these organisations run profoundly affects the patients requiring care, which is why having strong leaders at the helm is essential.

Employers are looking for educated, personable and versatile leaders to take on senior roles within their organisations. Completing postgraduate study, such as an MBA in healthcare management, is a great way to learn the skills required to take on these vital roles. It can also open new doors within your career.

Australia’s healthcare industry today

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia. COVID-19, technological advances and an ageing population have exposed gaps within the industry and shown just how agile its leaders need to be to keep up with the changing times.

In 2002, the Health Care and Social Assistance industry employed 901,800 people. This figure has steadily increased over the past 20 years, with the number of people now employed sitting at a little over 2 million. According to AISC, this makes the Health Care and Social Assistance industry the largest employing industry in Australia.

Naturally, the growth of the healthcare industry has highlighted the need for strong leadership. Beyond technical and medical knowledge, people in healthcare management must exhibit a broad skill set to lead effectively.

Some of the key challenges that healthcare management professionals face today include:

  • Needing to be adaptable to a changing industry.
  • Keeping up with the digital transformation, including the introduction of artificial intelligence, telehealth and robotics.
  • Improving working conditions for staff.
  • Exhibiting greater mental health awareness.
  • Possessing advanced interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Managing large infrastructure projects.
  • Understanding laws, policies and regulations.
  • Remaining focused on the future and innovating change.
  • Upskilling regularly to stay on top of industry growth.

It’s essential that healthcare leaders are qualified, well-rounded and committed to evolving the industry. Completing a postgraduate qualification in health leadership and management, such as an MBA in healthcare management or a master’s in health administration, is one way leaders can ensure they’re well-equipped to take on a career in this growing sector.

Roles and responsibilities in healthcare management

Healthcare is a hugely varied sector, encapsulating all providers of products and services relating to health and medicine. This includes hospitals, allied health clinics, pharmaceuticals, research, product creation and distribution.

The variety within the sector means there is also diversity in the types of healthcare management roles available. All roles, however, have a common set of required responsibilities and skills, including interpersonal skills, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, communication, stakeholder management and flexibility.

Tara Hipwell is an experienced practice manager studying for her MBA in healthcare managment via a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration. In her experience, leadership and management skills are essential in senior healthcare roles.

“You’ve got to talk to people, manage people and be on their level. You have to understand everything they’re doing, but they also have to be able to look to you,” she explains. “The only way to do that is to further your studies and understand what’s happening in the world.”

Studying an MBA in health management equips emerging leaders with the required skills to take on such a role in today’s evolving landscape. Here are some career outcomes for MBA healthcare graduates.

Clinical director

A clinical director is responsible for providing high-level leadership and planning within a healthcare organisation, such as a hospital, clinic or research centre. The average base salary for someone in this role is $181,694.

Practice business manager

The role of a practice business manager can be dynamic, and practice managers often run all the daily operations of a doctor’s surgery.

Tara explains that “Some medical surgeries will break the role up. There’ll be an administration manager, a practice manager and an office manager, as well as a business manager who looks after all the finance stuff in the background. Sometimes surgeries prefer one manager to control everything, which is what I’m lucky enough to do.”

The average salary for a practice business manager sits within the range of $75,000 to $90,000.

Clinical care coordinator

A clinical care coordinator, otherwise known as a health coordinator, is responsible for planning and reporting on all operational activity within a clinic or healthcare organisation, such as an aged care facility. This role includes a high level of patient care as well as advanced administration, planning and leadership skills.

The salary for someone occupying this position sits within the range of $70,000 to $85,000.

Hospital manager

Hospital managers have a high level of responsibility, leading the entire facility including its staff, processes and business decisions. Hospital managers may work across high-level budgets, organisational planning, staff development and stakeholder management and can expect to earn a salary of $120,000 – $140,000.

Health supervisor

A health supervisor is a largely administrative role. Predominantly existing within emergency care settings, health supervisors are responsible for tasks such as record keeping, staff management and reporting. The average base salary of a health supervisor is $99,666 per year.

Social services manager

A social services manager plans projects, manages budgets and works with their staff and the community to improve the lives of vulnerable people. As a social services manager, you can earn an average salary of $103,349.

How an MBA in healthcare management can help

Studying for an MBA in healthcare management helps you stand out while also allowing you to gain valuable skills to thrive in your career. With the healthcare industry going through rapid changes, employers are looking for leaders who are qualified and committed to learning.

Why study an MBA in healthcare management?

  • Kickstart a new career regardless of your age and experience.

Starting a new career can be daunting. Studying an MBA allows people of all ages to work towards a new future at their own pace.

  • Study while working and maintaining a work/life balance.

An MBA is usually delivered online and can be done either part-time or full-time. This allows students to study while maintaining their existing responsibilities and interests.

  • Learn the business aspects of the healthcare industry.

Gain a deep understanding of everything that goes on behind the scenes in healthcare organisations.

  • Stand out from the competition. 

Completing a postgraduate course gives you skills and qualifications that can’t be learned on the job.

  • Work towards a rewarding career.

Healthcare organisations are essential to the wellbeing of the population. By working in healthcare management, you’ll be directly impacting the lives of Australians.

  • Develop advanced research skills.

Led by highly experienced academics, students will develop their critical thinking skills and learn how to apply research to real-world scenarios.

  • Grow your leadership skills.

Through academic practice, professional experience and networking, students will learn what goes into developing a good leader.

  • Improve communication.

Beyond business skills, an MBA in healthcare management teaches students how to communicate effectively as peers and leaders.

  • Learn from experts in the field.

Students will have the opportunity to connect with academics, peers and industry experts throughout the course, gaining a unique insight into healthcare.

In addition to the academic outcomes, Tara found that undertaking postgraduate study in healthcare management broadened her understanding of the industry by learning from people at all stages of their careers.

“Everybody comes to the class for a different reason, but everybody wants to better themselves,” she says. “It pushes you out of your comfort zone into a space that you are completely unfamiliar with, but it’s going to be good for you in the long run because you’re learning from people all over the world.”

Launch your healthcare management career with MBA Discovery

Regardless of the job title, healthcare leaders are essential for organisations to provide exceptional care to their patients and staff. As a healthcare manager, you will play a vital role in advancing the industry and ensuring the system is safe, accessible and in compliance with the latest research and best practices.

Discover the different MBA specialisations available and learn how to apply for an MBA by speaking with one of our Student Enrolment Advisors today.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments