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“Public hospitals need new culture”

Wednesday 19 May 2004

“Public hospitals need new culture”

“If the concerns over productivity are to be overcome then public hospitals need a new culture,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today. Mr Powell was commenting on claims by the Treasury of fewer surgical operations despite increased funding.

“There are several factors that help explain this situation. They include workforce shortages including doctors and nurses; increasing emergency admissions requiring more complex treatment; increasing complexity of non-urgent operations caused by waiting time delays as patients’ conditions worsen; and the way in which hospital operations are counted.”

“But one of the most effective things that could be done is to introduce a new culture in public hospitals whereby doctors, nurses and other health professionals are put in the engine room of decision-making. They are the ones that have the real expertise over how best to achieve productivity without compromising quality and standards of care.”

”We need a new culture of active engagement with health professionals rather than merely consultation if public hospitals are to make sustainable improvements in productivity,” concluded Mr Powell.

ENDS

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