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BPO's hire doctors and nurses for health services

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Mumbai: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is one of the fastest growing segments of the Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) industry.It not only focuses on service sectors like travel, insurance, banking, financial services but it is also concentrating on healthcare services like medical writing and clinical data management for pharmaceutical companies reports Priyanka Golikeri for DNA.

The demand for specialized medical professionals is growing in the $12.4 billion BPO sector as BPO service offerings have widened to include medical transcription, nursing and other health related services. Doctors and nurses are needed as BPOs work on behalf of insurance firms to manage medical care of elderly citizens.

"The perception that the BPO sector is not knowledge-driven and is merely a stop-gap career option no longer exists," says Sanjiv Kapur, senior vice-president and global head, Patni BPO.

Neel Deep Singh Sarvaiya, a family physician in Andheri, has been training young professionals in medical terminology. However, the people he trains are not medical students, but those looking for careers in business process outsourcing (BPO). Sarvaiya works with CBay Systems, an Airoli-based BPO engaged in medical transcription, in the mornings and treats patients in the evenings. He says BPOs have opened up a completely different avenue for doctors and other professionals. "So many people with diverse backgrounds want to make careers in a BPO."

An offshore team of doctors and nurses is involved in reviewing medical records, ensuring if medical check-ups are done on time .Explaining that patients medical condition, reports are sent to the BPO in India, where medical professionals analyze patient details and the information is then sent to the insurance company. Based on this assessment, future diagnosis is done. Also, for doctors who would ideally need a gestation period of 3-4 years to establish practice, BPOs provide them with an opportunity to utilize their knowledge and earn decent money, says Dr Sarvaiya.

BPOs today employ people with degrees such as MBBS, BSc Nursing, PhD, MBA, CA, BE and BPharm. Raghavendra K, vice-president and head, HR, Infosys BPO, which has about 19,300 people, says most entry level profiles are sourced from science, computers, philosophy and theology backgrounds.

Raman Roy chairman, Quatrro BPO, says the high-end business in BPOs, requiring specialists, is growing at 30 percent per year. "Currently, we have 600 specialists who make up 20 percent of our total employee count and that percentage will keep increasing due to the demand."

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