Public Hospitals Need Clinical Democracy
MONDAY 15 JANUARY 2001
“Clinical democracy is need in public hospitals in order to improve their effectiveness, quality, safety and morale,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.
“All of the new district health boards should be required to have democratically clinical boards centrally involved in pubic hospital decision-making. They should be based on elected representation from doctors, nurses and other health professionals. While some hospitals have clinical boards, the health professionals on them are largely management appointed.”
“Public hospitals suffer from a lack of effective influential clinical representation. Much of this is due to the lack of recognition of health professionals in decision-making and the lack of democracy. This has affected the standard of decision-making over quality and safety issues and has had a negative effect on professional morale. Too much has been left to managers without sufficient professional expertise.”
“The sooner we can have democratically elected clinical boards and clinical leaders in our public hospitals, the sooner we can hope for real improvements in our public hospitals,” concluded Mr Powell.