Leave management to experts, doctors told

By Luke Anami


Hospitals should engage services of professional managers to run their facilities instead of medical doctors, Chairman Federation of Kenya Employers, Cleopa Mailu,  has suggested.

He said medical professionals normally running such facilities should instead concentrate on providing medical care and leave management to professional..

 “We have very many doctors in the provincial and district medical officers working as administrators not because they are incompetent but because how their units are structured. This is not only a waste of resources, but a hindrance to provision of services, which they were trained to provide,” explained Dr Mailu, who is also the Chief Executive Officer at Nairobi Hospital.

Dr Mailu said the number of Provincial and District medical officers are more than a thousand but their roles are hardly felt in provision of medical services.

 “The ratio of doctor to patient is 1 to 10,000 patients. If the current medical officers were to be deployed to provide medical care this ratio could improve,” he said. He said he personally does not support doctors venturing into administration at the expense of their training.

 Dr Mailu who was addressing the media on the implementation of the new Constitution in the health sector, also said that regulatory bodies, including the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, and the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board, be harmonized to avoid duplication of the licensing function.

 “The current fragmentation approach to health care issues only serves to increase administration costs at the expense of service delivery. Going forward the two ministries _ Medical Services and Public Health and Sanitation —be merged to create a single policy framework unit that will effectively serve the nation,” he explained. 

The merging of the two, he said, would help avoid issuance of conflicting policies that only serve to add confusion to the provision of health care.However, participants at the meeting felt that it was critical for doctors to understanding social and institutional aspects of health care delivery.

“Doctors should know how hospitals function and how different health care providers and administrators work together.” said a partcipant who declined to be named.