Who Are the Stakeholders in the Healthcare Industry?
Any person or institution directly or indirectly affected by the operation of the healthcare industry is considered a stakeholder. Stakeholders in the healthcare industry include customers/patients, employees/healthcare providers, creditors, shareholders and the government. A healthcare stakeholder may be in contact with the healthcare provider or company on a regular basis or may intermittently touch base. Stakeholders are affected by change in systems, policies and practices in the healthcare industry.
Customers play a very important role in the healthcare industry. They are usually affected by business conditions. When the healthcare provider isn’t doing well, its focus on responding to the needs of the customers diminishes. The company provides poor quality products and doesn’t research into what the customers need. When the business conditions are positive, the company exerts its best effort to make greater profits and provides greater attention to its customers, trying to meet their needs in every way possible.
Employees or healthcare providers may include physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, alternative medicine providers, physical therapists and nursing assistants. Their interests are affected by the stability of the company. When the company has a positive performance, the employees’ careers are secure. However, when the company is in a difficult situation, there’s a risk that the company will reduce its workforce. Thus, employees try to be wary and work diligently to keep their jobs. When the healthcare company is doing well, there is a great potential of rewarding employees, such as promotions and bonuses.
Creditors are those people who have loaned their money to the healthcare company- either by producing raw materials for production or as cash. The company pays the interest of the creditors on their loans, regardless of whether the company generates profits. Typically, creditors hold the asset of the company for security. If the company fails to pay their loans, these creditors have the right to claim the assets. Creditors can lose their investments if the healthcare company declares a bankruptcy.
A healthcare company belongs to its shareholders, who have invested their money and bought the shares of the company. There is actually a direct rapport between their investments and the financial strength of the healthcare company. The better the company’s status, the more money the shareholders are paid.
There are two classes of shares: equity shares and preference shares. Both types of shares are paid after the healthcare company has met its responsibilities such as paying the taxes and creditors, amortization and depreciation. Equity shareholders get to share the remaining or surplus profits. Preference shareholders are paid a fixed amount before dividends are paid to holders of common stock.
The government also plays a vital role in the healthcare industry. It is considered a key shareholder in a healthcare business. Representatives from the government include Boards of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Department of Justice, Public Health Department, Attorney Generals’ office, Governor’s office, and Departments of Regulation and Licensing. In a liberal democracy, the government has the right to determine its responsibility in healthcare policy. The judgment of the government is checked by the voting public, which chooses leaders to represent the interest of the public.
Sarah Rawson is an avid blogger and independent researcher. She has recently been researching online MBA Healthcare programs and reporting her findings to higher education blogs.