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A two-dimensional perspective of healthcare leadership in non-Western contexts
  1. Kamal Gulati1,
  2. Chitra Sarkar2,
  3. Ashley Duits3,4,
  4. Jamiu O Busari5,6
  1. 1 All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  2. 2 Dean Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  3. 3 Red Cross Blood Bank Foundation, Willemstad, Curaçao
  4. 4 Institute for Medical Education, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  5. 5 Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sci, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  6. 6 Pediatrics, Dr Horacio E Oduber Hospital, Oranjestad, Aruba
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jamiu O Busari, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sci, Maastricht University, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands; jamiu.busari{at}


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 Curaçao. 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.

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

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  • Contributors KG and JOB conceived and designed the manuscript. KG, JOB, CS and AD wrote and reviewed the manuscript and gave permission for final submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.