Posted by: ihfgeneva | July 9, 2013

Leadership and Management : The Role of the International Hospital Federation (IHF)

The International Hospital Federation (IHF) was represented by Dr. Leke Pitan, its Special Advisor on African Region, as guest speaker at the 2013 Medipharma –Africa Ghana: International Medical and Pharmaceutical Exhibition and Conference, held 25-27 June, 2013 at the International Conference Center, Accra, Ghana. With the theme of “The Role of Capacity and Skill Development in Healthcare Delivery”,  Dr. Pitan in his presentation, addressed the issue of Leadership and Management Skills Development in Healthcare: The Role of the International Hospitals Federation (IHF).

Dr. Pitan drew attention to the fact that hospitals and health organizations represent the largest employers of the health sector and manage more than 5% of the world GDP. For this reason he emphasized the importance and need in training and equipping leaders in the health sector with not only good professional and right leadership qualities but also with the skills to manage all resources at their disposal – human, financial and material so as to achieve the objective of providing an efficient, effective and qualitative health care service for the people.

Dr. Pitan further added that leadership involves establishing a shared vision and in so doing set priorities for all to pursue through common access to necessary information, knowledge, methods and guidance.  With the complexity and diversity of the people required to work together as a team in the health sector in order to provide the desired quality service, team spirit and team work, Dr. Pitan pointed out, should become the watchword, especially if the patient is still to remain the focus.

Dr. Pitan highlighted the fact that the introduction of health insurance and health reimbursement systems, the need for compliance with accreditation requirements, as well as the ever-increasing competition for patronage from clients have further increased the need for hospitals to be led by well-trained managers with the skills needed to steer these multi-million dollar institutions aright.

The situation in the majority of developed economies, he pointed out, is one in which hospitals and healthcare institutions are in the main led and managed by professionals that have been explicitly trained and equipped for the role. Conversely, the situation in developing economies, is one in which hospitals and healthcare facilities, particularly government-owned entities, are still being headed by healthcare professionals who despite an abundance of knowledge in their areas of specializations and unique expertise, are not trained for hospital management. Worst still, several of these health professionals are often still in active practice, hence are not able to focus on the management of the healthcare organization, resulting in a poorly managed business with several hospital departments and units functioning at suboptimal levels and yielding of poor returns on investment.

Dr. Pitan drew attention to the potential role of the IHF in bridging the knowledge and experience gap between developed and developing country healthcare leaders and managers, through the myriad of unique international opportunities provided for meeting and exchange of ideas on best practices in hospital and healthcare management. Such opportunities which provide continous learning through peer- review and interaction with other IHF member organizations, access to information on the most pertinent topics in the health sector and networking with other health international organizations, include

i)                   The IHF World Hospital Congress, which presents an avenue for the exchange of information on healthcare administration and management from different perspectives  and their  challenges, with views from various hospital management models that could be adapted to suit peculiar situations in other hospitals around the world;

ii)                 Trainings and workshops on hospital management and administration;

iii)               Partnerships developed with world-class institutions for training healthcare professionals in hospital management.

iv)               Soon to be launched, a course aimed at providing essential leadership and management competencies to those in management positions with no formal management training.

Participants were encouraged to join the IHF membership community in order to maximize access to the said and other opportunities.

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