Leadership or management of some health care facilities in the country is such that people who do not have any health related background were allowed to manage health care facilities. This has reflected in a number of serious complaints which were leveled against such facilities.
On his ground work, the honorable Minister of health, Dr Motswaledi has noted with dismay that most hospital managers and CEOs were found to be incompetent to manage which resulted in the weakening of health systems in the country. This has resulted in the minister resorting to overhauling the hospital management.
Definition of key terms
Overhauling is generally defined as the act of improving by renewing and restoring. DENOSA notes that:
There has been a rise in the reported mismanagement of hospitals in South Africa in the past few years
Some hospital managers do not have the requisite skills and competencies to run and manage hospitals effectively and in most instances some do not even have health background qualifications as a basis.
Mismanagement of hospitals end up giving a negative and sometimes false image of healthcare practitioners working in these hospitals
Appointment of managers with no health qualification or background often end-up jeopardizing hospitals because such managers do not necessarily have the passion and interest in the healthcare fraternity to begin with.
DENOSA believes that:
In cases where hospital management is found not to be performing, it is necessary to overhaul the hospital management in order to align with the ministerial directives and the National Core Standards (NCSs).
Qualifying individuals should be appointed on the said management positions based on relevant qualifications and appropriate experience in management.
Clinical background alone should not form the basis of appointment but management qualifications coupled with extensive experience in management should be considered also.
For an appointment in management position of a hospital, the incumbent should be in possession of management qualifications namely:2
o Relevant qualification in Health Sciences and Public Health Management
o Should be registered with relevant Health and related professions
DENOSA position on Overhauling of Hospital Management
DENOSA supports the overhauling of the health management in institutions in which management is found not to be performing.
The person appointed in management position must be competent and knowledgeable on health issues and be in possession of relevant skills and competencies.
There should be adherence to the policy on management of public hospitals (NHA. 2003).
Whilst mismanagement of any institution may be attributed to an individual or individuals managing an institution, such reputation not only affects these individuals but also the entire institution. Similarly, mismanaged hospitals and the resultant negative image that they tend to be associated with, not only affects hospital managers but also professionals working in these hospitals. It is therefore essential that managers lead by example in order to influence staffs who work under their guidance and supervision positively.
National Health Act 61. 2003: A guide. National Department of Health. Pretoria
Compiled: March 2012