Challenges faced by hospital management boards: A case of central hospitals in the emerging market

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Webster Funhiro, Bhasela Yalezo, Emmanuel Mutambara ORCID logo

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Zimbabwe’s health care sector has been on the decline since the attainment of political independence in 1980 with the blame leveled against the hospital’s governance system. Responding to the blame, The Ministry of Health and Child Care, responsible for all public hospitals in Zimbabwe, has revamped the hospital governance system by introducing what is referred to as the hospital management board (HMB) tasked with the responsibility to provide the oversite role (Moyo, 2016; Sikipa, Osifo-Dawodu, Kokwaro, & Rice, 2019). The study, therefore, sought to establish the challenges faced by HMBs in the management of public hospitals with a focus on six (6) central hospitals in Zimbabwe. A mixed-method design was employed using the questionnaire and interviews to collect data from 66 censured board members for the quantitative study, and 12 purposively selected board members for the qualitative study. The study revealed that HMBs faced numerous challenges that include an unconducive economic environment responsible for high costs in hospital health care and services, ineffective policies, a weak referral system, and inexperienced board members. The study recommends that HMBs should be appointed based on relevant experience in public hospital leadership. Drawing from the findings, most HMBs must be reconstituted to include members with relevant experience, a focus on policy issues towards improving the ineffective hospital referral system.

Keywords: Hospital Management Board, Zimbabwe, Hospital Governance, Policy, Central Hospital

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization — W.F. and E.M.; Supervision — B.Y. and E.M.; Funding Acquisition — E.M.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: D73

Received: 06.10.2021
Accepted: 11.04.2022
Published online: 14.04.2022

How to cite this paper: Funhiro, W., Yalezo, B., & Mutambara, E. (2022). Challenges faced by hospital management boards: A case of central hospitals in the emerging market. Journal of Governance & Regulation, 11(2), 124–133.