Search for new Health Board director fails

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The Health Board building in Tallinn.
The Health Board building in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

A committee on top management selection at the Government Office has announced that the contest to find a new director for the Health Board has failed. The process began in September.

On September 6, previous Health Board director Üllar Lanno said he would resign from the position, taking responsibility for an extensive cold storage facility failure.

A contest to find a new director was announced on September 21 with six applications sent.

The committee to find a new director let two candidates through to the second round and pre-discussions took place. As a result of these discussions, the committee decided against advancing any of the candidates and considers the search a failure, the Government Office announced.

The Ministry of Social Affairs must now decide on how to proceed with the empty Health Board director seat. Until a new head is found, acting director Mari-Anne Härma will continue in the position, but she has said she would not like to be the director herself.

Ministry secretary-general: Assumption that we are looking for crisis manager likely scared people off

Ministry of Social Affairs secretary-general Maarjo Mändmaa told ERR on Friday that the ministry will arrange a new, more directed contest, the creation of which will involve more preliminary work.

"We will try to involve professionals in the preparatory process, this means we will find a partner who will help us map out candidates and invite people to the contest in a more directed and conscious manner," Mändmaa said.

The ministry official noted that one of the factors of the contest's failure could have been the false assumption of the Health Board requiring a crisis manager instead of a director.

"The position of Health Board director is seen from one perspective at the moment and it has mostly been managing the coronavirus and the negative incidents that have taken place. We are still looking for a leader in the sense of the Health Board's role in Estonia in a broader view, how to stand for patients and human-centered health care services, how to be a strong partner for health care service providers," Mändmaa said.

He added that some people who applied and did not apply thought the contest was for the position of a crisis manager. "I think one of the things that scared people off was that no one wants to come manage a crisis. We are actually looking for a leader with a wide base of knowledge, skills and competence," the social ministry official said.

Mari-Anne Härma, who has worked as acting manager, has been talked to, but she does not see herself at the position. "We have talked, but the current situation is as it has been. Mari-Anne has a strong profile and desire to work in her current position. We want a great general leader for the Health Board, someone who works on managing the organization and reforms," Mändmaa said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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