Rwanda: government reviews quality of service in private health facilities

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The government has launched an inspection of the quality of services offered by eight private health establishments aimed at filling gaps in the health system.

The 5-day inspection began on September 21 and comes just days after the health ministry closed the Baho International Hospital following the death of a patient and a series of public protests over poor quality of hospital services.

Health facilities under inspection include La Croix du Sud Hospital, MBC Hospital, Dream Medical Center Hospital, and Ejo Heza Surgical Center Hospital. The others are the Wiwo specialist hospital, the ophthalmological hospital of Dr Agarwal, the La Croix du Sud Gisenyi polyclinic and the Saint-Jean polyclinic.

The ministry said it would expand its investigation to all private health facilities, but did not specify when this will be done.

Julien Mahoro Niyingabira, division chief of the Rwanda Health Communications Center, told the New Times that inspections will end on September 25.

The ministry’s preliminary investigations into an undisclosed private health facility found gaps in leadership and governance, service delivery, health personnel, medical products, infrastructure and equipment.

“During the current inspection, the ministry will review performance and service delivery. If a health facility does not meet the standard, different penalties will be applied depending on the level of the loopholes, ”Niyingabira said.

At the end of the inspection, healthcare facilities with deficiencies will be assessed various sanctions ranging from closure to recommendations on areas for improvement.

However, Niyingabira added that some would be closed completely if the inspection team found they fell far short of government standards on private health facilities.

When Baho Hospital was closed, Dr Daniel Ngamije, Minister of Health, told the New Times on Saturday, September 18, that he should be an example for all private health facilities.

“We will issue a statement not only on the Baho case. It will be sent to all private health facilities, asking them to improve the quality of their services and comply with standards,” he said.

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