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Examining leadership as a strategy to enhance health care service delivery in regional hospitals in South Africa

Authors Govender S, Gerwel Proches CN, Kader A

Received 13 September 2017

Accepted for publication 28 October 2017

Published 1 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 157—166

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S151534

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Sagaren Govender, Cecile N Gerwel Proches, Abdulla Kader

Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Background: Four public hospitals in South Africa, which render both specialized and nonspecialized services to thousands of patients, were examined to determine the impact of leadership on health care service delivery. These hospitals were inundated by various problems that were impacting negatively on health care service delivery.
Purpose: This research study aimed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges, complexities and constraints facing public health care in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and to examine leadership as a strategy to enhance healthcare service delivery with a particular focus on four regional hospitals in the KZN Province.
Methods: The mixed-method research approach was utilized. Purposive sampling and stratified random sampling were employed in the research setting, and in-depth, semistructured interviews and questionnaires were used to collect data. Data were analyzed using the Nvivo computer software package for in-depth interviews and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software for the quantitative analysis.
Results: The research findings showed that the current leadership framework adopted by the health care leaders in regional hospitals in KZN is weak and is contributing to poor health care service delivery.
Conclusion: This study, therefore, aimed to address the current challenges and weaknesses that are impacting negatively on health care service delivery in regional hospitals in the KZN Province and made recommendations for improvement.

Keywords: health care service delivery, public hospital, leadership, South Africa

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