I HAVE been reading with interest on the selection of the Port Moresby General Hospital chief executive officer.
With respect to the new appointee, we have to acknowledge the difficult times and environment the former CEO, Dr Alphonse Tay, had to go through during his term.
Dr Tay was not a bad manager, however, everybody seems to be using his unfortunate difficulties as a “yard stick” to measure their own ego and expectations.
Dr Tay was surrounded by incompetent directors and managers and a very unhelpful department and Government.
It was not his fault how POMGH came to be now.
Only time will tell if the new CEO is good for the hospital.
Try giving the same amount of funding (and assistance) to the new CEO and see if he can perform better.
The following are points that I consider worth noting:
1. The directors (DMS, DCS, DNS) under the CEO must do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
They must cooperate and provide professional unbiased advice to the CEO.
They must have command and take control of their respective staff.
They must have and command respect from their subordinate staff.
The CEO must respect the directors and listen to their advice when necessary.
2. Communication between and at all levels must exist.
All directors should be involved in decision making by the executive management.
This is healthy for the management and shows transparency.
The staff in general must have meetings with the management to iron out nagging issues.
3. Staff (including doctors) must be conscious of their ethical and moral standards.
Public perception of a hospital depends on staff’s attitude to their work and patients.
4. Health funding in hospital budgets and provincial health sectors since Independence leaves a lot to be desired.
Health Minister Sasa Zibe must back up his calls for improvement in the health sector if he is serious about the health of this nation.
5. A CEO must be an SMO (with manager skills) so that communication and cooperation between the CEO and medical consultants remain open.
The CEO cannot work in isolation from the SMO and vice versa.
The CEO must manage the funds and implement planning programmes efficiently and effectively.
6. The UPNG Medical School should consider integrated courses in management that include human resource management, finance, Excel spreadsheets, problem solving, ethics, public service general orders and finance management acts as post-graduate training for those who think they can be competent hospital managers.
7. Doctors of this period in PNG (both private and public) need to be professionally monitored and disciplined.
Many of the clinics in big centres are run by RMOs and junior registrars without their seniors.
This breeds low morale to subordinate staff who become disrespectful to their clinical bosses.
8. Managing hospitals is not the same as managing a supermarket or vehicle workshop, cattle farm, etc.
We are dealing with human lives and, therefore, people in Health management advising our minister must provide healthy options and not be self-centered or stupid.
Mt Hagen, WHP