Managing the unmanageable: Public hospital systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are significant challenges to those who work in large public health care delivery systems: political imperatives; resource constraints; sometimes rigid personnel systems; and, the reality that everything occurs in a public forum. The fact that many nations are reviewing and, in some instances, restructuring their national health care systems, has added to the complexity and feeling of continual turbulence experienced by their managers. State run systems like that in the United Kingdom are introducing market forces to increase effectiveness and value for money; while market systems, like that in the United States, are increasing regulatory interventions to achieve the kind of cost control available to countries with large public systems which operate with global budgets. Public hospitals in the United States offer examples of public institutions operating in a highly competitive market environment. A decade of management changes undertaken to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest public hospital system in the United States, is presented as a case study of public health services and public management in a market environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalThe International Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991


  • Hospital Systems
  • Public Hospitals
  • Public Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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