Invest more in health to make Rwanda a major destination for medical tourism

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Kigali University Teaching Hospital (CHUK) is one of the few referral hospitals in the country. / File

Editor,

RE: “Health services delivery in Rwanda grows from strength to strength” (The New Times, September 8).

These are impressive gains by the Ministry of Health. My favorite is one on access to free malaria treatment to the lowest Ubudehe categories.

I believe Rwanda’s health sector will be a case study in many years to come. However, I would like to point out the need for a real central national referral hospital.

The Kigali University Teaching Hospital (CHUK) has woefully outdated buildings, and although the current management of the hospital has done a good job to keep the institution impressively neat and clean, it’s time to think of a state of the art referral hospital.

The current CHUK campus is quite big, maybe part of it can be sold off, given that it’s in a lucrative part of Kigali, and I’m sure that, with good hospital designs, the remaining campus can host a good multi-storied building hospital.

I dare to dream big, but if infrastructure is upgraded, coupled with the medical school teaching side, I believe CHUK would easily be a regional referral hospital, especially to patients from Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania and Uganda.

I hope the Ministry of Health will consider this.

Kigali Girl

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Great achievements indeed and kudos to all who worked hard to get us here, especially our good leadership.

For the past 24 years, Rwanda—without a doubt—has built the backbone for a resilient and strong health system. A health system built from almost zero, with the achievements highlighted in the article, we are in a good place to soar like eagles and make the health sector a model for the region.

If Rwanda aspires to become a destination for medical tourism, as much as we are happy and content with the wonderful results so far, there is need for major reforms to move from managing routine (though necessary to maintain health) to strategically think about innovative, efficient and sustainable delivery models to increase productivity and profits.

I would appreciate reading in a sequel article the main challenges the sector faces re medical tourism hub.

Kathy Kantengwa