Mongolien: Bat-Sereedene Byamba

Difficulties exist to make life interesting. Problems arise in the natural way of things. So, any problem is solvable, and in simpler ways than we sometimes imagine.

— Bat-Sereedene Byamba

Bat-Sereedene Byamba is a professor of medicine and a leading manager-innovator of the Mongolian health care system. Director of the largest medical institution in Ulanbataar and named Best Manager 2002, she is credited with reforming the system in the transition from socialism to market economy.

Bat-Sereedene Byamba was born in 1955 in the remote western part of Mongolia. No one could have guessed that a girl from this isolated periphery would one day become a professor of medicine and a leading manager-innovator of the Mongolian health care system. The P. N. Shastin Clinic Hospital with its 600-strong medical and service personnel is well known for its work, and Bat-Sereedene has been singled out as the "mother" of the largest health care institution in Mongolia. Appointed director in 1999, she initiated a process of reform and modernization that helped the hospital make the transition to a market economy. Specialists in medicine and health care are agreed that the leadership of Bat-Sereedene provides an excellent example in health care management in the post-socialist environment. The World Health Organization has also acknowledged the Shastin hospital as a promising model for the renovation of Mongolia’s health care sector. Prof. J. Khairulla, a well-known neurosurgeon, says: “I taught medicine to Bat-Sereedene and now I am really proud of her. She made a discovery; she discovered the way medical institutions could work and how health workers could receive a wage appropriate to their work. She succeeded in reforming the whole philosophy pursued both during the 80 years of socialist rule and in the 15 years after the democratic revolution.” In 1999, the State-owned hospital was in complete disarray, its building occupied by renting organizations, its medical personnel prone to alcoholism, and its debt amounting to 47 million tugriks (its annual budget was 100 million tugriks). Nobody expected the new director to be able to deal with this situation. But Bat-Sereedene’s reforms have yielded excellent results. The Shastin hospital now pays its staff better than four years ago and has recently invested 120 million tugriks in a computerization project.