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.
Managing expectations was the biggest challenge for managers in the Irish health service, Minister of State at the Department of Health, Ms. Kathleen Lynch, T.D., said when she gave the opening address to the Conference.
A different health future based on five major changes was urged by Ms. Francesca Colombo, Head of Health Division, OECD, when she opened the session on the “Context for Change,” which was chaired by HMI President, Mr. Derek Greene.
A survey of health managers and senior policy makers last January revealed a big difference between healthcare priorities and the areas on which they were actually spending their time, Dr. Sarah Barry, Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Policy and Management at Trinity College, Dublin told the Conference.
More and more top performing hospitals in the US have doctors in leadership positions, not because they are better managers but because they are in a unique position to engage with patients and colleagues, Dr. Colm Henry, National Clinical Advisor and Programme Lead for Acute Hospitals told the Conference.
One of the unfortunate things when the HSE was born was that leadership was considered a frivolous activity, Mr. Tom Lynch, Group Chair, Dublin Academic Medical Centre, Ireland East Hospitals Group, told the Conference.
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, Dr. Tony O’Connell HSE National Director Acute Services told the Conference.
Mr. Eamonn Fitzgerald, CEO of the Hermitage Clinic and Chair of the National Judging Panel for the HMI Leaders Awards said that when working on the awards he was reminded of the story about the starfish.
On the national stage, our health services have remained in the eye of the storm, thus ensuring the constant need for inspiring leaders and professional managers, HMI President, Mr. Derek Greene said when he officially opened the 2014 HMI National Conference.
The Irish health services will need strong leadership and management to ensure that when more resources become available they will result in better outcomes for patients, Health Minister, Dr. Leo Varadkar said when he presented the first HMI Leader Awards.
The HMI is the professional body for healthcare managers across all sectors of the health services in Ireland. Its overall aim is the development of standards of management competence and practice. We inform, educate and involve members and stakeholders in professional development and networking activities.
Health Management Institute of Ireland (HMI)
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