Professionalism, leadership and governance

The need for inspiring and professional manager leaders, the importance of sound governance and the challenge of providing services at a time of reducing budgets and increasing demand were the main themes of the 2014 HMI National Conference, writes Maureen Browne.

Maureen Browne
Maureen Browne

This month’s Health Manager is a special Conference issue in which I bring you a report of the highly successful HMI Conference in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Dublin.

HMI President, Mr. Derek Greene set the stage when he said our health services needed the vision of leaders who, in asking ‘where to from here?’ would align the perceptions and behaviours of all stakeholders in the services we provided.

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Health Minister, Dr. Leo Varadkar said that the number of doctors and dentists employed by the HSE is at an all-time high, while the number of management and administrative staff is at an all time low and we should not be afraid to say that, when from time to time we hear the old mantra of “too many managers” rattled out.

HSE National Director of Acute Hospitals, Dr. Tony O’Connell  said that when hospitals were over budget the simplistic view was that it was the fault of managers and not that there was high acuity of in-patients, an increasing population of older people higher costs of available therapies and a high use of itinerant agency staff,

HSE National Director of Transformation & Change, Mr. Leo Kearns said the deafening silence on heath funding must be challenged.

Other issues to emerge were the dichotomy between health priorities and the work which managers actually found they had to do, the role of the independent health sector in the future of the health service and the challenge of governance, effectiveness and accountability in the new hospital group structures.

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