Managing the Human Resources of Mission Health Institutions: a Case Study of St. Patrick’s Hospital, Offinso

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In Ghana it is the responsibility of Government to provide health services to the people. However over the years private institutions and individuals have played increasing roles in the delivery of health services. Prominent among these are the religious missions whose large numbers of hospitals are located in the rural areas and serving about 70% of Ghanaians. It is expected that Mission hospitals will be integrated in one way or the other into the Ghana Health Service when this comes into being. Recent reports of confrontations between the Authorities of Mission hospitals and their workers in many parts of the country indicate that all is probably not right. There are stories of staff dissatisfaction and mass resignations. In view of the important role played by these hospitals, this situation should not be allowed to continue unattended to. What is the source of these problems? How are they being addressed? How should they be handled? Can the Mission hospitals adequately fit into the new health sector reforms? The above concerns prompted this Case Study of St. Patrick’s Hospital, Offinso, a Mission Hospital in the Kumasi Diocese of the Ashanti Region with emphasis on some aspects of Human Resource Management. Primary and secondary sources of data were collected and analysed to determine the effectiveness of management practices in the areas of promotion, training, communication and grievance handling. The findings are: i. Mission hospitals are owned and run not by the Catholic Church as a whole but by individual Dioceses. Each Diocese prescribes how its hospital are managed. ii. There were no clear policies on the management areas examined. iii. Procedures were vague and often not followed. iv. Training was not related to the needs on the ground and the expenditure was not cost-effective. v. Communication was ineffective even though the opportunities for good communication existed vi. Too many grievances, important and minor, are often left unresolved. On the basis of these findings, it was recommended among others that: i. Management should develop clear policies and procedures in all areas of human resource management. ii. More emphasis should be placed on in-service training and short courses/seminars, and the condition for other forms of training should be reviewed in the interest of the hospitals. iii. An open-door type of management should be encouraged., iv. Management in general should be strengthened in Mission hospitals with the possible assistance of government. v. Further research should be conducted into the type and use of incentives, including promotion, as a means of retaining staff in Mission Hospitals.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science Degree in Health Services Planning and Management, 1999