New public management in Iran's health complex: a management framework for primary health care system
Background New public management (NPM) was developed as a management reform to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in public organizations, especially in health sector. Using the features of private sector management, the managers of health organizations may try to implement the elements of NPM with the hope to improve the performance of their systems. Aims Our aim in the present study was to identify the elements and infrastructures suitable for implementing NPM in the Iranian health complex. Method In this qualitative study with conventional content analysis approach, we tried to explore the NPM elements and infrastructures in Iranian public health sector. A series of semi-structured interviews ( n = 48) were conducted in 2016 with a managers in public and private health complex. Three focus group discussions with nine faculty members were also conducted. A data collection form was used to collect the demographic characteristics and perspectives of the participants. Findings From the perspective of managers, managerialism, decentralization, using market mechanism, performance management, customer orientation and performance budgeting were the main elements of NPM in the Iranian context. The most important infrastructures for implementing this reform were as follows: education and training, information technology, the proper use of human resources, decision support systems, top management commitment, organizational culture, flexibility of rules, rehabilitating of the aging infrastructures, and expanding the coverage of services. Conclusion The NPM was generally identified to be an effective replacement for the traditional administration method. These reforms may be helpful in strengthening the public health complex and the management capacity, as well. NPM also seems to be useful in interacting the public health sector with the private sector in terms of personnel and resources, performance, reward structure, and methods of doing business.
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