Thoughts on the JOB – CMD of our National Hospital


A few days ago we posted a blog on the job for the CEO/CMD for Nigeria’s premier public hospital – The National Hospital, Abuja. This hospital is cherished so much as a national treasure that it is not managed by the Ministry of Health but directly under the presidency. We have written in detail in the past on the unfulfilled expectations of our National Hospital. The present CMD; Dr Olusegun Ajuwon got into the position after transitioning from being the personal physician to our erstwhile President, General Olusegun ObasanjoHe has known many a controversy and the hospital has remained  shadow of its beautiful exterior. 

So …when we saw that there was a public advert for the position – we were indeed glad and put it up on our blog

But since then – we have wondered about several aspects of the Job Description. 

1. Why does the manager have to be a medical doctor? If we need the best manager – then we should allow the best manager for the job! Nothing I learnt in medical school has prepared me for the management responsibilities I have, and I do not see how it will prepare for this job! Indeed this might be the reason our hospitals are so poorly managed! We all loose if our best surgeons, who have never managed more than their clinical teams leave clinical practice where they are desperately needed to “manage” our hospitals. I m also not saying that pharmacists, nurses or any other professional is better suited, nor do I suggest “rotation” in typical Nigerian fashion. If we need a manager – we should seek a manager.

2. Why do the candidates have to send in Fifteen (15) copies of his/her written application with detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV/Resume)??? In 2010 can our presidency not set up a simple online application process?

3. Why do the need to know “Number of Children with Age”

etc etc etc ….

Find below Chief Exec JD for an “ordinary” hospital in the UK. Really its not rocket science! We can do more…

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
11 Feb 2010
Position Type
Job Function
Executive – Chief Executive
Acute Trust
Chief Executive
Substantial package
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest acute trusts in the country, providing services to a population of 700,000 across Lincolnshire from four main hospitals and several smaller sites. With a turnover in excess of £350m and over 7,500 staff the Trust has made significant progress over the last three years despite increasing pressure on hospital services. As it moves toward becoming a Foundation Trust in a challenging financial climate, it requires an ambitious individual that can provide exceptional strategic vision whilst prioritising delivery of innovative and high quality patient-centred care.
The Role:
• Develop and build the existing high calibre executive team and work with the Board to ensure the effective delivery of first class healthcare services.
• Develop and maintain public confidence and a positive image for the Trust through effective communications with staff, patients and external partners.
• Lead the strategic development of the Trust, ensuring it is successful in its Foundation Trust application and takes advantage of the opportunities this will bring.
The Candidate:
• Considerable experience of leadership as Chief Executive at Board level within a comparable organisation.
• Strong strategic and business planning skills, combined with the ability to lead and inspire teams to perform at the highest level.
• Innovation and performance focussed with superb interpersonal skills, the ability to inspire, motivate and deliver results through influence.
Please see the ‘Apply’ button for a candidate brief containing application details, or contact us quoting reference AMM/29655/HSJ. Closing date for applications is 5th March 2010.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Discussion3 Comments

  1. It’s crazy that the government is not “mature” enough to see that you need a health manager to manage a hospital, as you need a Chief Surgeon to manage a surgical team and a good Clinical Nurse to manage the surgical ward! Surely someone there has encountered people who have degrees in Health Management? Often good nurses, allied health professionals and others take post-grad courses in Health Management so they know the rules, limits, finances and people skills needed to manage a hospital or large clinic. My Masters in Public health class has several people who are health managers- they’re studying public health so they can learn how a hospital fits into the wider health system and society- as they should. Doctors and nurses should campaign for a good manager to be appointed- not one of their own colleagues.

  2. Excellent reference on simple and practical help available to us all as our people continue to re-invent live in the past. Appointing the right person on merit is still too far off in our weak systems where the fear of corruption has kept many away. Also, the cost of reviewing all our current document can be funded by a charity. Again, in many of these issues, the fear of corruption has kept many away.

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