Today I welcomed over 100 newly appointed CEOs. As you know, the hospitals are a cornerstone of the national health care system, and their leadership is therefore critical to the success of these institutions in delivering quality care to all.
After a rigorous process that including rethinking the type of hospital CEOs that will strengthen the functioning of our hospitals we finally arrived at this day when we welcome the new CEOs! I am confident that these CEOs will help us achieve our objective of well functioning public hospitals despite the challenges that they will find in their new jobs.
We cannot continue to see unnecessary deaths and a dissatisfied public, mismanagement of resources, crumbling infrastructure and poorly equipped hospitals. . Putting an end to this situation is within our power and is our duty and responsibility.
In the past three years I have put considerably emphasis the need for competent hospital CEOs:
i. In 2010 a review was undertaken for the National Department of Health of the competency levels of CEOs in the public hospital sector. The results were of great concern to me. A third of the CEOs should not have been in the job at all. The Report revealed that a significant proportion did not have the requisite background, leadership and management competencies for the task.
Over two years we reconceptualised the roles and responsibilities of hospital CEOs as well as processes to select qualified applicants.
ii. As a result of these processes in August 2011 a new policy as well as regulations were on hospital management as well as the designation of hospitals were drafted and gazetted. . The intention of the policy is to regulate the management of hospitals in order to improve their functionality.
iii. The specific objectives of the policy are to:
ensure implementation of applicable legislation and policies to improve functionality of hospitals;
ensure appointment of competent and skilled managers;
provide for the development of accountability frameworks; and
ensure training of managers in leadership, management and governance.
The policy specifies the job description and minimum requirements for the appointment of hospital CEOs.
These new CEOs will be supported to perform through the Health Academy for Leadership and Management in Health Care which I launched in November 2012. We know excellent leadership has a direct, positive impact on our staff and their patients. Our aim is to deliver outstanding leadership, at all levels and across all health professions.
The Academy, is chaired by Professor Emeritus Marian Jacob, the former Dean of the Health Sciences Facility at University of Cape Town (UCT). She is supported by a group of experts on management who form the Academy and whose remit is to develop standardised toolkits which set out a consistent, standardised approach to developing excellent leadership and is the foundation on which the rest of our work of building a cadre of leadership for the health sector will rest.
We want everyone present at this orientation to know what outstanding leadership looks like, what is available to help them achieve that and how they can access support at different points in their career.
The vision of the academy is to ensure excellence in leadership in health and health care at all levels in South Africa.
In January this year I gave the Chairperson and Advisory Committee their first task – to develop an orientation programme for newly appointed CEOs as part of an on-going process of support and development. This matter is a priority for the Academy this year. The Academy is here to develop programmes to support you in your jobs and ensure we develop the leadership for the hospital sector that our people need and deserve.
The role of the Academy
At the launch of the Academy I specified the role of the Academy. The Advisory is still detailing the work of the Academy. But it will be an organisation that sets the pace and bar for leadership in the health sector.
We want to create a generation of leaders who not only provide exceptional care to patients, whether directly as a clinician, or indirectly as a manager, but who act as role models and inspirational leaders for the next generation of NHI professionals
The range of programmes and development opportunities we have in place mean tens of thousands of current and future leaders will be able to further develop their approach. The tailored programmes will reach you at different stages in their career and will be open to all health professions, clinical and managerial.
We will emphasise the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to lead radical service redesign in a much more closely joined health and social care system, with a clear focus on patients’ experiences and health outcomes.
We will help our leaders create work environments where care and compassion are experienced by all staff, so they in turn can provide compassionate care to their patients.
The Legislative Imperative – The Health Act 2003
Getting the management of the hospital sector right is an imperative of the Health Act 2003 (Act No 61 of 2003 and the National Health Amendment Bill.
In essence, I as Minister am required to ensure that: health establishments are appropriately defined in terms of their role and function in the health system, that the appropriate governance structures are established, that the human resource requirements to manage health establishments are defined, regulated and ensured, that health establishments meet basic standards of quality in their operations, that academic health complexes are created and that health establishments which have an education and training function have the institutional management capacity to deliver on this task.
To deliver on this task I need the help of competent CEOs and leaders of the hospitals in the public sector. The public sector hospitals consume about R70 billion of the health budget and have to meet the challenge of ensuring quality and effective health care in these institutions. For this task we need strong leaders.