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Doctor survey finds GHA is ‘badly managed’

The GSD has expressed concern over the results of a staff morale survey conducted by a doctor within St Bernard’s Hospital, which found most doctors though the health service was badly managed.

According to the survey, which was made public by the Opposition yesterday, 94% of doctors ‘disagreed’ or ‘strongly disagreed’ with the statement that “the GHA is well managed” and no doctor actually agreed with the statement.

The results were compiled from anonymous responses collected over two days in October, from 31 contract or permanent doctors and surgeons at the hospital.

All the doctors available on those days were apparently approached and all doctors approached responded.

There were three broad areas on which the opinions of doctors were sought: morale, perception of management and continued work within the GHA.

A five-point scale was used with one being ‘strongly disagree’ with the statement made and five being ‘strongly agree’.

Other results include that 87% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that “management respects the views of the medical staff”.

The survey found that 67% have considered leaving the GHA in the last 12 months while 35% are actively looking for work outside the GHA.

And 13% are leaving in the next 6 months.

Of those surveyed, 73% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that “morale amongst the doctors in the GHA in general is good”.

However, only 39% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that “my morale is good”, suggesting a perception problem rather than a genuine morale issue.

Even so, 55% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that “morale in my department is good”, while 84% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that “morale has improved in the last 12 months”

The comments made by doctors as part of the survey are also concerning, the GSD said.

They range from “cultural tendencies and political games constantly interfere with patient’s medical management” to “staff morale is extremely poor under the current management. So much resources are wasted due to poor management. The medical staff is not being consulted by the managers in important matters as budget etc”.

Daniel Feetham, the Leader of the Opposition, said: “These results are shocking.”

“They come off the back of the loss of a number of very good surgeons which the Government tried to explain away in very unconvincing fashion.”

“The Government may say that the survey has not been conducted officially by the GHA but for doctors to feel that they should be conducting and/or participating in such a survey in these numbers, shows that they feel strongly about the current situation at the Hospital.”