Managing Human Resources for Health
Lehmann, U. (Uta) (2003)
Human resource management is one of the key functions within the broader scope of human resource development. If you are or want to become a manager in the health services, you will in all likelihood have some responsibility for managing people. Some managers may fulfill human resource functions as part of a much wider portfolio (for example, facility or programme managers), while for others it may be a full-time responsibility (for example the head of an HR department at provincial level). The unit should therefore be of use to most managers in the health sector. Human resource management is sometimes wrongfully equated with personnel administration. While personnel administration is one aspect of human resource management, the latter is actually much broader in scope. It incorporates a range of issues such as leadership, capacity development, support and supervision, etc. All activities in human resource management aim to help people fulfill their potential and to get the best out of them as individuals and in groups for the benefit of health service delivery and quality of care. Because the topic is so broad in scope, we had to be selective in what we included in this module. We have tried to aim for a mix of understanding the importance of human resource management in the context of developments in the health sector and of gaining some knowledge and skills that will help you in your day-to-day practice as a human resource manager. The challenges facing HR managers in the health sector today are serious and seemingly endless: HIV/AIDS, brain drain, low morale, transformation fatigue, to name just a few examples. We will not discuss these topics per se, although they will keep coming up in examples and illustrations, but the topics are aimed to provide guidance to build human relations and organisations that can address the challenges facing us today.
University of the Western Cape