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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


ARTAZA BARRIOS, Osvaldo; MONTT VIDAL, Julio  and  VASQUEZ LEICHTLE, Claudia. Structure and human resources in a public hospital in Chile: an experience in conducting changes. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.2, n.5, pp.342-351. ISSN 1680-5348.

This article discusses the structural and operational reform process that took place beginning in 1994 in Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, a tertiary pediatric care facility run by Oriente Metropolitan Health Center in Santiago, Chile. The formation of the Chilean health care system is briefly outlined, along with the changes brought about by the military government in 1979 and other transformations introduced by the first democratic government in 1990 and by the second one, in 1994. In spite of Chile's favorable health indicators and of the current government's desire to establish equitable services and to launch a decentralized system, the health care system that was fundamentally modeled in the fifties and sixties has failed to respond successfully to the demographic transition and to the population's new epidemiologic profile. One of the main problems is that services at the secondary and tertiary levels lack what is necessary to respond to the demand. Under a new leadership with an interest in modern administrative methods, clinical services at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital were restructured with new departments and units, a study of the organizational climate was carried out, the entire staff was intensively trained so as to generate a spirit of involvement and a new vision of the hospital's mission and teamwork, and a strategic plan was drawn up that is still being implemented.

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