Paving The Way Toward Professionalizing Leadership And Management In Healthcare
The Abuja Declaration (WHO 2011), which reported on investments in health, noted that funding targets are being missed, both domestically and in terms of international assistance. “[T]he absolute level of resources available in relation to the health needs is well below what is needed.” Ministries of Health (MOHs) in many developing countries recognize that delivering good-quality health care to their populations does require money but also depends on efficient and effective use of all resources. Evidence shows that much can be improved simply by paying attention to how health providers are managing and leading their facilities and teams (Kebede et al. 2010, Mansour et al. 2010, O’Neil et al. forthcoming, Ortega 2004, Rowe et al. 2010, Seims et al. 2012, Wong and Bradley 2009, Wong et al. 2012). What if scarce resources were managed more carefully? What if, among these resources, the energy of the men and women working in difficult health care situations could be managed as a precious resource? What if facility and district health managers could mobilize more local resources and social capital to improve health for all, and what if they had better systems for ordering supplies, scheduling patients, and supervising staff? These questions allude to a situation that we believe can be achieved not only by raising awareness that good health practice, at any level, requires more than clinic skills, but also by creating a cadre of health professionals at the senior levels whose primary responsibility is to lead, manage, and govern within the health sector.