Wave of sackings among Dutch health managers

24th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

Forty-eight health managers have been dismissed in the first six months of this year as compared with 32 in the whole of 2007.

24 July 2008

THE NETHERLANDS - Something seems to be going badly wrong with the management of the Dutch healthcare sector.

There has been a wave of dismissals among hospital and homecare managers, 48 in the first six months of this year compared with 32 in the whole of 2007.

The NVZD, the association which represents managers in the care sector, says the true figure is probably considerably higher, since those 48 are the NVZD members who were sacked and turned to the association for legal assistance or coaching.
Some people who were sacked may not have required the NVZD's services or are not members of the association. Others may have been persuaded to resign rather than be sacked.

On average, health sector managers now remain in their jobs for only about three years.

The NVZD director Jan Aghina calls it "a management carousel".

Experts say the main reason for the rapid turnover is the changing world of healthcare. It is a more risky sector - subject to cutbacks, free market forces and face with more critical consumers and more demanding health insurers. The managers are not necessarily less competent, but now operate in a more stressful and competitive environment.

The latest edition of the magazine Zorgvisie (Care Vision) carries profiles of a number of dismissed and disillusioned senior managers. One former manager who describes himself as socially-oriented comments that, following a merger, "the ambitious and the ideologists became increasingly impatient with me." A former hospital director complains that "the board was a prisoner of the medical staff".

The NVZD also claims that, in conflict situations, governors and supervisory boards nearly always take the side of the doctors, since they regard managers as much easier to replace.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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