Health services to be turned around as hospitals acquire new CT scanners

King Faisal Hospital, Kigali and Rwanda Military Hospital, Kanombe are projecting their health care services to improve after acquiring latest CT scans.
A medic uses a CT Scan on a patient at King Faisal Hospital. (File)
A medic uses a CT Scan on a patient at King Faisal Hospital. (File)

King Faisal Hospital, Kigali and Rwanda Military Hospital, Kanombe are projecting their health care services to improve after acquiring latest CT scans.

 King Faisal Hospital recently acquired 128 multi-slice CT scan billed as critical towards the facility’s goal of being a regional referral facility.

The device, which is an upgrade from their 16 slice machine, is one of the latest equipment in tomographic imaging by global standards.

The device is also unique in the East African region and was previously only available in Kenya.

Dr Emmanuel Rudakemwa, the head of Radiology at King Faisal Hospital Kigali told The New Times that capacity of the new equipment, valued at about $1 million, reduces the need for surgery during diagnostics of certain conditions.

Doctors no longer have to conduct surgical operations on their patients while making certain diagnosis which will improve the treatment of multiple ailments.

“The machine enables us do virtual studies, which is being able to know what is going on in the body without having to operate.  Some of the diagnosis previously required patients to undergo surgery, but with this machine, we will be able to do virtual studies,” he said.

The device also improves accuracy of diagnosis further improving patients’ treatment.

“128 slice scanner means that every time you scan, 128 slices are made in the particular structure that you are going through. That means that you are increasing the diagnostic capacity,” Dr Rudakemwa said.

The device, doctors say, will have a cross-cutting impact in the diagnosis of ailments in multiple areas including cardiac, neurosurgery and orthopedics among others.

Before its installation and handover a fortnight ago, in Sub-saharan Africa, such services were only available in Kenya and South Africa.

This not only inconvenienced patients but also drove up the cost of treatment due to travel expenses, among others.

As one of the few facilities in the region with the equipment, Dr  Rudakemwa says that they expect to see an increase in the number of patients from across the region requiring its services.

“This will reduce cost previously incurred by patients while seeking treatment, including from the neighbouring countries,” he said.

The facility has so far made sure that all their doctors have capacity to use the equipment for diagnosis purposes and have made necessary arrangement to ensure speedy servicing whenever there is need.

“When you buy such an equipment, you make sure it has guarantee and a platinum service and maintenance provisions such that if anything goes wrong, the manufacturers service it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the hospital has allayed fears that it could readjust their prices upwards.

Hassan Lumumba, the chief executive of Dash-S Technologies, the firm contracted to procure and install the equipment, said that they chose a manufacturer (Phillips) with a proven record and a century long experience.

Prior to the handover of the equipment to the hospital, Lumumba said that they passed on skills of use and maintenance and are on call in the event of need. 

“We aim for the best user experience and for the users to fully maximise the system is a good measure of our success. With this in mind, there is initial thorough training on the use of the system. Additionally, there are continuous training programmes online, on site and whenever required by the client throughout the system’s life cycle,” he said.

“We have made deliberate and significant investment in well qualified and trained engineers on the ground. We also have a comprehensive service agreement that allows us to hook the system into our systems that has a dedicated team of engineers that detect and fix software related issues like bugs and any other technical issues remotely and sometimes preventively,” Lumumba added.

Thaddee Gasasira, one of the engineers involved in the project, said that the new equipment’s advantages include easing studies and speed.

“They can now work on a large number of cases per day, they will be able to do timely diagnosis due to ease of use and quicker image processing capability of the system compared to the previous system. Basically,  it makes their studies and reporting so easy. Additionally, this system has superior capabilities to the previous one, for example, it can do cardiac and brain perfusion and many more which the previous one couldn’t do,” he told The New Times.

The management of King Faisal Hospital, Kigali was recently handed over to Oshen Healthcare Limited by the Government of Rwanda. Oshen Healthcare is a global provider of innovative health care solutions and management expertise for medical facilities and health insurances programmes.

Rwanda Military Hospital acquisition

Meanwhile, Rwanda Military Hospital, Kanombe  also recently acquired the GE Optima CT660.  128 slice CT, the latest trending model on the world market.

This optimum CT scanner system offers a quick and ultimate solution to medical problems. The GE 128slice is a scanner which helps to minimise radiation dose while delivering best diagnostic image quality. It helps to deliver highly diagnostic and personalised images in under 10 seconds and allows the hospital to scan young and old clients, and still get the best results, according to experts.

Yvonne Keeza, a radiology specialist at the military hospital, said being a referral hospital that  provides health care services to both military and civilians, this machine was needed  to help the hospital meet the demand of the international level clinical diagnosis.

“This CT scan comes also as the best diagnostic tool to RMH ‘s world-renowned outreach services (known as Army Week), which will allow its medical personnel to offer a comprehensive medical services to the population of Rwanda, including the low-income patients who cannot otherwise afford  those diagnostic procedures available in the current market,” the hospital said in a statement. 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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