August 18, 2023

Columbus Post

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Controversy at USZ – Direct appointments at university hospital cause red heads – News

Controversy at USZ – Direct appointments at university hospital cause red heads – News
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Senior positions in large hospitals are usually advertised publicly. But at Zurich University Hospital, various administrative positions were filled directly. It has been irritating for weeks.

For no apparent reason, the administration of the University Hospital Zurich USZ and the administration of the Faculty of Medicine of the University Zurich UZH decided to fill administrative positions directly without publicly advertising them. USZ’s management wrote internally: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that sooner or later we will have to proceed with the same high positions as any other, that is, by direct appointments.”

In fact, direct appointments are common in business, but a university hospital is an institution under public law, says Roland Zimmerman, former head of the Obstetrics Specialist Hospital at USZ and professor at UZH: “It is only possible with a public tender. The line is that the most suitable person will actually be appointed. Payers provide the guarantee. He also writes: “Anyone who wants to deliberately opt out of a public tender does not understand our democracy.”

USZ suspends public tenders

In January 2023, the “Sonntagszeitung” reported on the controversy: a public tender for the post of clinic manager and professor of internal and transplant surgery was suspended due to a lack of understanding by the specially convened commission. From America.

Research by “10vor10” shows that two public tenders have already been closed according to this method in cardiac surgery and anesthesiology.

Contrary to international standards

This approach is universally shocking, as the clarifications in the United States, Canada, France, Great Britain, Norway and Germany show. In Switzerland, too, professors such as Nobel laureate Rolf Zingernagel or Christian Gerber, former head of the Palchrist Clinic, are concerned. He says: “Continuous direct appointments reduce motivation and appropriate junior staff in the long run”.

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In fact, all recognized medical institutions around the world publicly advertise clinic directorships and professorships, and do so internationally. This is also stated in the University Ordinance. At the request of “10vor10”, the University of Zurich and the University Hospital of Zurich wrote in a joint statement: “In reasonable cases, a direct appointment may be made if a person is considered to be the best fit for a specific need profile.”

Personal contacts

The fact is that direct appointments are the responsibility of the Chairman of the Hospital Council for USZ and the University Medical Director for UZH. As you know, the President of the USZ Hospital Council was nominated by Health Director Nathalie Wrigley and the Director is a relative of Sylvia Steiner, Director of Education, President of the UZH University Council.

In short: those in charge at USZ and UZH have recently appointed chief doctors and professors they know personally, while both are connected to those in charge of politics. When asked, both departments said they were not responsible. Frank Urbaniok, a well-known forensic psychiatrist and professor, was a patient in one of the victim’s specialty clinics at the university hospital. On his blog, he finally calls for clarification: ‚ÄúPoliticians and the public are now called upon to create and demand transparency. The hospital board must explain beyond doubt that we should not absolve them of this duty!