From corporate governance to hospital governance. Authority, transparency and accountability of Belgian non-profit hospitals' board and management

Health Policy. 2004 Apr;68(1):1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2003.07.009.


As a result of multiple developments in health care and health care policy, hospital administrators, policy makers and researchers are increasingly challenged to reflect on the meaning of good hospital governance and how they can implement it in the hospital organisations. The question arises whether and to what extent governance models that have been developed within the corporate world can be valuable for these reflections. Due to the unique societal position of hospitals--which involves a large diversity of stakeholders--the claim for autonomy of various highly professional groups and the lack of clear business objectives, principles of corporate governance cannot be translated into the hospital sector without specific adjustments. However, irrespective of these contextual differences, corporate governance can provide for a comprehensive 'frame of reference', to which the hospital sector will have to give its own interpretation. A multidisciplinary research unit of the university of Leuven has taken the initiative to develop a governance model for Belgian hospitals. As part of the preliminary research work a survey has been performed among 82 hospitals of the Flemish Community on their governance structure, the composition of the governance entities, the partition of competencies and the relationship between management and medical staff.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Decision Making, Organizational*
  • Governing Board / organization & administration*
  • Governing Board / standards
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Research
  • Hospital-Physician Relations
  • Hospitals, Voluntary / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Professional Competence
  • Social Responsibility