A two-dimensional perspective of healthcare leadership in non-Western contexts

Kamal Gulati, Chitra Sarkar, Ashley Duits, Jamiu Busari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


As we witness an alarming change in the delivery of healthcare worldwide, there is a need for transformational leadership that can inspire and empower healthcare professionals, and patients alike. Due to the lack of economic, infrastructural and human resources especially in developing countries, the organisation and delivery of healthcare services is even more challenging. Hence, the focus of leadership development in resource-limited environments should be to facilitate knowledge building, interprofessional collaboration, empowerment and inclusion. In this paper, we use two exemplary cases to illustrate the impact of, and the challenges facing leadership capacity building in non-Western contexts with special reference to India and Curacao. These cases demonstrate that there is a place for validated medical leadership models in developing countries with promising outcomes for the collective health status of communities at large. Such models, however, need to be contextualised to fit the individual country's economic and sociopolitical context. Also, the stakeholders should be prepared to create healthy professional cultures that embrace respect (for self and others) and focus on effective communication practices within their local environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Leader
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2020


  • competencies
  • clinical leadership
  • health system
  • project design
  • multi-professional


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