Jan 20, 2014 News
Towards ensuring that quality service is delivered by the entire staff of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), the institution’s administration is looking to strengthen and build the capacity of, first and foremost, the Managers of the various departments.
It is common knowledge that whenever any deficiency or discrepancy is found, the blame is always laid at the feet of ‘the man in charge’; be it at a domestic level or at the level of a country’s government.
It is with this philosophy that the need was seen for the institution to strengthen the capacity of those at the ‘top’ and then allow them to integrate their expertise so as to efficiently manage things at the ‘bottom’. This would in turn eliminate the negativity that now exists as a result of poor conduct displayed in the past by junior members of staff.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Michael Khan, expressed that it is for the purpose of eliminating this negativity that the administration never misses a beat when it comes to facilitating various training sessions aimed at upping the performance of the hospital’s staff. These include Customer Service Training programmes and Communication programmes which are at times hosted by overseas specialists.
He said that although a cost is most times attached to the provision of the upgrading sessions, the hospital’s management deems the expenditure as ‘money well spent’ since it enhances the performance of staff and in turn boosts the reputation of the health facility.
Asked how much confidence he has in the hospital’s current staff make up and especially its count of Supervisors, the CEO boasted that these persons were not selected on a “wishy washy” basis. He said that before a member of staff is promoted, as protocol dictates, that person needs to first demonstrate that he/she is fully capable of handling the workload that comes with the position.
The CEO said that after filing an application, the applicant is interviewed before a three-member panel to determine whether he/she is suited for the job. He added that the panel always includes a non-GPHC member so as to prevent bias in the final decision making.
But even as promotions are intricately micro-managed to ensure that the position is well satisfied, complaints still pour in. Mr. Khan admitted that the administration would regularly receive complaints about staff members’ “manner of speech as well as the prolonged waiting time.” He said, though, that these complaints are dealt with immediately, first by evaluation and investigations, and may include disciplinary action as management sees fit.
At the same time, the CEO expressed that while the hospital’s administration welcomes constructive criticism in this regard, patrons should also be patient and make allowances for the workload of the staff and not be “selfish”.
“We have to remember our staff is as human as we are and they are under pressure too. We must understand how hard they work and people must appreciate the amount of the work that is being brought here (GPHC), especially to the A & E,” he said.
But the CEO advised that staff should always consider ways to build their capacity and better their performance and not depend on the institution entirely for their upgrading.
Meanwhile, towards addressing complaints of long waiting time, the hospital’s Head took the opportunity to urge patrons to make use of extended hours at the local health centers. He reminded that the Campbellville Health Center is now opened for an extra four hours on Tuesdays and on Saturdays from 08:00 hrs to midday.
The normal working hours at the Health Centre were extended in an effort to alleviate the heavy traffic at the hospital’s Accident & Emergency Unit and to allow more urgent conditions to be dealt with in a timelier manner. Mr. Khan noted that soon, the health centre at Industry, East Coast Demerara will follow suit; opening for an extra four hours on Thursday afternoons and on Saturday mornings.
“Another benefit is that those who cannot make it during the normal working hours don’t have to miss a day of work to seek medical attention. They can go in the afternoon to the health centres and be seen and treated,” the CEO said.
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