District hospitals to be accredited
The Ministry of Health has set up performance standards that all the country’s 42 district hospitals have to meet in order to be certified.
According to Health minister, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, accreditation is a quality assurance process under which services and operations of hospitals are evaluated thereby filling in the missing aspects to ultimately improve health quality and service delivery.
She noted that the process is also about saving lives, interaction with patients and good service delivery in general.
Binagwaho stated that this is more of protocol, tools and guidelines for the health facilities to adhere to in order to improve delivery of quality healthcare.
“You can’t be better against yourself, so that is why we have established standards to guide district hospitals so they can improve basing on the set guidelines. These tools will help them serve the population better health-wise,” she said at the meeting with health workers in Kigali on Tuesday.
The minister explained that assessment for accreditation will be carried out on a minute-by-minute basis and not over a long period of time.
She called on the public to demand for proper healthcare, adding that they are entitled to it.
An expert in public health facilities, Dr Bonaventure Nizeyimana, said quality standards should be enforced through setting up of such measurable systems.
“With the establishment of the accreditation system, there is no doubt that service delivery is going to improve greatly in our district hospitals. In two years, we shall have identified which of the district hospitals will have been accredited,” he stated.
Nizeyimana said there are over 200 benchmarks against with district hospitals will be assessed.
He explained that they are graded in terms of stars and for a health facility to be ranked five-star, it must have attained a score of over 95 per cent.
They include: service delivery, management, and customer care among others.
The Director of Gisenyi District Hospital, Dr William Twahirwa, noted that the move would be beneficial to the hospitals as they would be compelled to enhance standards.
He added that the hospitals now have proper guidelines to conform to so as to improve healthcare.
Dr Twahirwa, however, appealed to the ministry to intensify efforts to improve infrastructure in health facilities.
Contact email: maria.kaitesi[at]newtimes.co.rw