In Europe and USA, a class of professionals called the “hospital consultant” has emerged separate from the professional hospital administrator. It is a matter of debate whether such strict comport- metallization is useful, or even necessary. A professional trained as a hospital administrator with adequate experience can profitably combine the job of hospital consultant and administrator. Such a professional is referred to here as a “hospital consultant”.
An experienced hospital consultant would have had opportunities to study the operation of many hospitals and similar institutions, to work in different kinds of situations and to compare ideas and developments with others in the medical care field. He can approach a problem objectively and bring proper perspective both to problem solving and planning for the future. Only the specialized knowledge of alternative methods of doing things, and systematic approach can give the hospital project a fair chance of success on a functional basic consistent with economy. The medical hospital consultant is able to provide experienced guidance in areas which cover, (i) local and regional surveys of medical and health care, (ii) analysis of the demand and need for hospital facilities, (iii) assessment of the extent and range of services required, (iv) equipment selection, and (v) administrative and organisational relationships. The first step in planning a hospital project is to assemble a planning team.
The nucleus of the team can consist of a hospital consultant, one or two medical and lay administrators, a nursing administrator, and hospital architect. Nurse administrators feel that nurses tend to be brought in to read to plans drawn up by others, rather than to participate ii their preparation. When she is associated from the beginning, the nurse in the planning team is better prepared to guide and support line nursing managers in determining departmental systems. It has been suggested by some that a social scientist and even a health educationist should form part of the planning team. Whereas their usefulness at the level of national health care planning cannot be denied, their association with the planning team at the hospital level is unlikely to add to the effectiveness of the team.