Doctors make the best managers, study indicates

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4870 (Published 29 July 2011)
Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4870

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Dear Editor,

In Greece Hospitals are run by managers, members of the Political Party currently in power, appointed by the Government, and not selected after examinations.

Their decisions, financial actions, health policies, etc are dictated by the Central Government.

They are not really responsible of anything as they just follow orders.

The Ministry of Health itself admits that managers mismanage funds. [1]

Public Hospitals in Greece have accumulated huge amounts of debt. [2][3]

In only four months, from January to April 2011, hospitals accumulated 1.721 billion euro of debt. [3]

That means that every year they accumulate debt that greatly exceeds their total market value!

No wonder "Greece's healthcare system is on the brink of catastrophe". [4]

One of the solutions would be to stop employing public managers and appoint experienced medical doctors instead.

The NHS could learn from Greece's mistakes and avoid public managers in Hospitals and Health Trusts.

References

[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/05/greece-healthcare- brink-catastrophe

[2] http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/11/44583

[3] http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/43469

[1] http://www.athensnews.gr/issue/13445/42327

Competing interests: Dr Stavros Saripanidis is a diligent taxpayer who is called to pay for all this debt in Greek Public Hospitals.

Stavros Saripanidis, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Greece

Private Sector, 55131

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Dear Editor,

This study comes to an evidence-based binding conclusion that Hospitals should be run by medical doctors.

Until other, larger studies prove otherwise, hiring medical doctors as Hospital managers should be the rule.

This conclusion comes with some interesting legal consequences: If 4 candidates having adequate curriculums present for a given position in a Hospital, only one of them being a medical doctor, this last candidate should be chosen as Hospital manager. If this does not happen, the medical doctor excluded can appeal in a Court of Law stating he was wronged and that his exclusion was against all evidence-based best practices!

The British Medical Association should take action in promoting doctors as Hospital managers and defend doctors that have been wrongly excluded.

Competing interests: None declared

Stavros Saripanidis, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Greece

Private Sector, 55131

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