Management for health services delivery

Reading schedules

New hospital manager


The aim of this page is to suggest some initial readings to help you select from the extensive electronic library on The Health Manager’s Website.


You are about one year out of medical school and you have been sent to take charge of a small district hospital with around 60 beds and departments for emergency care, medicine, surgery, obstetrics and paediatrics.

The hospital has a busy outpatients department running several clinics each week, but a low bed occupancy as the local people prefer to go to the larger city hospital 20 miles away. There is one other doctor, 20 nurses, one pharmacy assistant, 4 lab technicians, one radiology assistant, and several drivers, clerical staff, security staff and cleaners.

The hospital management team consists of yourself and the other doctor, the senior nurse, and a representative from the community. The management team is meant to meet each month and is responsible for the overall management of the hospital: planning and providing services, controlling the finances, managing the staff, ensuring quality of care, liaising with the community and other partners.

You did not cover any of these topics in your medical training. So to help you get started, you need to find time to read the following documents.

It might also help you to make contact with someone that you know who works in a management position (of similar or higher overall responsibility – not necessarily in the health sector) who is prepared to let you contact them periodically to discuss problems – this would mean that the person agrees to be a mentor for you.

Reading schedules

The readings are presented in 3 sets, starting with short concise information, and progressing to more complex documents. Click on the underlined text to access the readings.

  • It is recommended that you read at least one each day. You might read the documents in the order presented or you could start with the topic of most concern to you - but read them all
  • Most of the initial readings are only 2 - 4 pages long.
  • Many of the examples in the readings relate to South Africa and Tanzania - so keep this in mind and consider how you might apply the examples in your country.
  • Use the accompanying worksheets to briefly note the key things that you learn, and what you plan to do at your hospital.
  • Financial management
    Guidelines from Department of Health South Africa:
    8 sections, each 3 to 8 pages covering: regulation, district management, financial planning and management, allocating the budget, monitoring, accounting for performance.
  • Set 2: A bit more in-depth
    The second set of 20 readings for hospital managers are a little more in-depth and will take you longer to get through – so start with a topic of most interest or concern in your job, and take a general look through the suggested reading to see what it covers and decide which parts you most need to read in depth. Each of the 2nd schedule of readings are up to 10 pages long
  • Set 3: More complex (coming soon)
    The third set of 20 readings for a hospital manager are significantly more complex and would be for more experienced managers who want to deepen their knowledge on particular topics.