1.1 Background of the Study
Before the advent of private hospitals, mission hospitals had existed side by side with few Government-owned hospitals otherwise known as General Hospitals. Nowadays, however, almost all over Nigeria, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of hospital of various types and sizes. This can be attributed to several reasons, one of which is probably the inability of the government-owned hospitals to effectively cope with the necessary healthcare services that are in high demand. Good health is a prerequisite for every human being to carry on with any meaningful lively activity on earth (Kuti, 2000).
As human beings or personnel are the most important resources needed to run every institution of organization much as a mission hospital, it becomes pertinent to enquire into their organization and management. It is a known fact that mission hospitals have been established on humanitarian grounds rather than on profit making motives. This being so, one may wonder how the personnel of such hospitals are managed with respect to the recruitment, training, industrial relations, promotion and motivation, for instance
Very often, mission hospitals are seen to be not only ill-equipped but also, poorly staffed. Many of them think of the term administration instead of management, even though, some kind of personnel function is performed. In any case, whether the term ‘administration’ or ‘management’ is used is not actually important. What is important is simply what the hospital does with its staff (Akunyili, 2002).
From the foregoing, it was considered necessary to research into the management of personnel at Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, because it has existed for over sixty years and it is expected to serve as a good model for the research in the area of mission hospitals. A brief remark on the historical background of the hospital enables one to appreciate the peculiar situation of a typical mission hospital.
The hospital which is situated at Nsukka in Enugu State is recovered as one of the oldest hospitals in the eastern part of Nigeria. It was said to have been established in 1940 under the auspices of the Catholic Church and is owned by the church under the Bishop. This implies that the Bishop is at the highest echelon in the hospital’s organization chart.
Before Nsukka Diocese was carved out from Enugu Diocese in the Catholic Church, the hospital was under the Catholic Bishop of Enugu. Presently, it is under the Bishop of Nsukka Diocese. Information available shows that the administration and management of the hospital are still being shared by the Dioceses of Enugu, Nsukka and the religious congregation. The reason is not far fetched. It is simply because both Dioceses are within Enugu State (Mbadugha, 2001).