Conference inspires health managers

01 July 2011 | Story by Newsroom

public health conference

This week UCT brought together public health managers from across the country to share their own real-life experiences about how they are addressing challenges in the health care sector in South Africa.

The Celebrating Innovative Health Management in the Public Sector Conference, hosted by the Faculty of Health Sciences in conjunction with the Oliver Tambo Fellowship Programme from 29 to 30 June, was timely, given a concern raised by National Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, expressed in his budget speech, that poor management is undermining the quality of care in the public sector.

More than 140 delegates from the public health sector, higher education institutions and NGOs engaged one another on topics such as efficiency and effectiveness in hospitals, how to overcome 'compassion fatigue', building healthy collegial networks, as well as recruitment, support and retention of rural health workers.

According to conference chair, Professor Lucy Gilson of UCT's School of Public Health and Family Medicine, this was a rare opportunity for health managers to share their experiences first hand. The event's aim was three-fold: to recognise the importance and value of health leadership and management, to promote the discussion of innovative experiences from which individual managers can learn, and to draw wider lessons about how to support sustained and effective leadership and management.

Gilson said the gathering left participants "motivated, inspired and enthusiastic".

She's hopeful that more such events will be held in the near future.

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