The Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) has welcomed the Department of Health's appointment of 102 new CEOs to the country's public hospitals as part of government's strategy to improve the quality of healthcare delivery.
HASA CEO, Dr Dumisani Bomela said the association was impressed with the thorough manner in which the process had been carried out and with the interviewing and appointment of qualified healthcare managers to so many public hospitals.
"These appointments lay the foundation for the better management of our state institutions, which is critical to the success of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system," said Bomela.
Last week, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the qualification criteria for hospital managers had been standardized. This included basic requirements, such as being a health worker first and foremost, as well as having had five years' experience in middle and top management within the healthcare system.
Bomela said this was welcomed as it would ensure that those in charge of hospitals would be appropriately qualified, ensuring the effective administration, governance and operation of state hospitals.
"Hospital managers need not only fulfil a financial management role in that they are required to take charge of huge budgets, but they are also required to understand the clinical complexities involved in running a large hospital.
"Our members are ready to work hand-in-hand with government to assist in every way they can using the expertise they have acquired working in the South African health system. We support the government's view that the best possible talent is needed to drive healthcare reform in the years ahead," Bomela said.
He added that HASA will continue to contribute to the training and development of hospital CEOs in the public sector through the Social Compact Forum.
The forum is a collaborative initiative between the public and private healthcare sectors set up to fund selected health initiatives, including the training of additional healthcare professionals and building further management capacity in public hospitals.