MPs grill Sezibera over medical centre

The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera had a difficult time calming down lawmakers who queried the management of the soon to be established Rwanda Biomedical Centre.
TAKEN TO TASK: Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera.
TAKEN TO TASK: Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera had a difficult time calming down lawmakers who queried the management of the soon to be established Rwanda Biomedical Centre.

Sezibera was yesterday tabling before parliament a draft bill that seeks to establish the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) which would enable the merger of 15 medical institutions in the country.

Long serving lawmaker Juvenal Nkusi said; “this is mixing the unmixable, I personally do not understand how a hospital will be sharing the management yet these are two different entities that need their own autonomy.”

Agencies that will be under RBC include King Faisal Hospital, National Reference Laboratory, Trac Plus, Health Communications Centre, National Centre for Blood Transfusion.

Others are AIDS Control Commission (CNLS), Medical Maintenance Workshop, the pharmaceutical laboratory (LABOPHAR), drugs procurement agency (CAMERWA) and the International Centre for Clinical Research.

The centre will also control training in all medical sciences in the country which will be conducted by the Rwanda Medical University that is also yet to be established.

MP Specioza Mukandutiye added her voice questioning how the centre will be managed since it will be overseeing many agencies. Some other concerns expressed by lawmakers include the structure of RBC which was not stated in the draft bill that establishes the centre.

Sezibera told the house that the merging of health institutions in the country should not be looked at in the negative way.

“You have expressed concern over the structure of the centre that was not put in the bill, this was done intentionally because we thought in case we need to change anything on the structure it would require coming back to the parliament, but we have a structure which is well drafted,” said Sezibera.

However, the unsatisfied Nkusi was the only one among the 64 present lawmakers who voted against the bill and objected seeking for more clarifications about the merger.

Sezibera had initially pleaded to MPs to vote for the bill and explained that details of their grievances would be addressed in the parliamentary commission that would study the bill.

According to the minister, the establishment of the centre would lead to Rwanda medical services basing on research, and the country competing on the international medical market as well as being the leading medical referral country in the region.

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