Healthcare is not complex.

I’ve been working a lot in the health system over the last three years, breaking paradigms and introducing new approaches to delivering sustainable health care in the next ten years. Many people in the system believe it’s a complex system, but I had a fascinating conversation today with someone who totally disagreed with this. When headhunted to be a CEO at one of Australasia’s biggest hospitals he had no health experience but had managed complex multinational corporations with thousands of employees and tens of thousands of products. He said that without a doubt these organisations were complex. Health, on the other hand was not. His exact words were worth repeating:

“Health systems are not complex, they’re disorganised. Healthcare is the only trillion dollar sector that is run like a cottage industry.”

The more I get to work with people in the health system the more I’m inclined to agree with him.

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