What Does it Take to Run a Hospital?

clinical hospital

As well as being a fundamental and crucial part of our healthcare system, hospitals are some of the largest employers in the country. The most recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that hospitals employ close to 500,000 people across the public and private sectors.  

A good hospital administrator has to be able to work with a wide variety of people in different settings and work to make sure that systems, processes and procedures are followed in order for the hospital to function adequately to help people in the community. 

The Qualification

In order to work as a hospital administrator the basic requirements are experience in a hospital as well as a qualification in leadership, namely a Master of Healthcare Leadership. This course provides you with the skills and knowledge to move from a primary care-focused role into a management position. You will complete the course ready to strategically lead a team and ensure the successful day-to-day operations of a hospital in a dynamic and ever-changing healthcare industry.

This combination of qualifications and experience is hugely beneficial in allowing you to have a deep knowledge of the operations of the hospital as well as the skills and knowledge to manage it effectively. Armed with both the experience and the qualifications, you will be well-placed to work within the management structure of a hospital. 

The People

Hospitals employ a large number of people. According to recent statistics, the hospitals employ, on average, over 900 people. These staff work across several different departments and a number of different roles. This requires an administrator capable of working with staff from different backgrounds, working in different conditions and with different responsibilities. An administrator must then bring them together to form a cohesive team and ensure the successful operation of the hospital.   

As well as the staff within the hospital, an administrator needs to work with external suppliers of both medical and other services to ensure that they are delivering what is required. This requires a deep understanding of the hospital’s needs and the services provided by external parties. 

The Systems

A hospital is an organisation that runs constantly. There is never a moment where the hospital is not busy and taking adequate care of patients is a constant need. A hospital administrator can not be always on hand to ensure that the hospital is running smoothly. Therefore they need to ensure that there are adequate systems in place that maintain the smooth operation of the hospital. This can include everything from ensuring staffing requirements are met to keeping supplies stocked and even making sure the hospital grounds are maintained. 

Even the smallest jobs are important in the running of a hospital as minor issues could have huge effects on the effective running of the facility and ongoing quality of patient care.

The Attitude

While the skills to manage people and systems are important, the manager of a hospital must have the right attitude to ensure that they can deal with the complex situations that arise in the healthcare industry. The situations that can present themselves to a hospital administrator can be serious and complex. They require a deep understanding of complex issues that can include matters of patient privacy, their history and their effective treatment. 

plevic floor doctor

As well as the ability to deal with the complex issues present in the healthcare industry a hospital leader must have the right attitude to be able to work with staff effectively and set an example to other staff on the way they should be working within the hospital setting. The culture of any work environment is determined by the attitude of the people at the top and a hospital is no different in this regard.


The management of a hospital is a huge undertaking. It is a complex and specialised role that requires high-level management skills. From working with doctors and nurses to meeting with the board of directors the role of a hospital manager is diverse and requires someone who has the skills and knowledge to ensure smooth operation on a large scale.

If hospital management is something that you are interested in, a Master of Healthcare Leadership is a great next step on your career journey and will equip you with the skills needed for this high-level position.