Heath managers in Eastern Province have committed to improve the quality of the services they give to patients as part of efforts to get international accreditation for hospitals in the province.
Service delivery in hospitals was the topic on Wednesday and Thursday at a provincial workshop on peer-to-peer learning that attracted District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) from across the province.
The workshop was an opportunity for participants to share best practices and lessons learnt in the health sector.
Hospitals, health centres, pharmacies, health partners, local government authorities, among others, were all represented in the workshop.
The province has seven district hospitals, which undergo annually evaluated and graded from level one to level three.
It was indicated that Kibungo Referral Hospital had reached level three, Rwamagana Referral Hospital level two, while Kirehe, Nyamata and Rwinkwavu hospitals are all are on level one.
However, Ngarama, Kiziguro, Nyagatare and Gahini hospitals have not yet attained any level.
“When we say accreditation, we mean quality improvement,” said Dr William Namanya, the Director General of Kibungo Referral Hospital.
King Faisal Hospital, Kigali is the only accredited hospital in the country. The hospital was recognised by the South African accreditation body COHSASA in 2016.
Namanya explained that when a health facility is accredited, it is allowed to receive international patients.
“When people plan their stay in certain countries, they check online for an accredited health institution in that country,” he said.
According to Dr Philbert Muhire, the Director General of Rwamagana Provincial Hospital, they are looking to improve the quality of their services which would also help them meet international standards.
He said that staff turnover, budget constraints, insufficient infrastructure and equipment, among others, are some of the challenges in their pursuit for delivering quality services.
Dr Jean Baptiste Rugamba, the Director General of Ngarama Hospital in Gatsibo District, said his hospital has previously missed out on recognition as a level one facility, but that they are working hard to meet the minimum standards and hope to achieve their target next year.
“We have made a step forward already,” he said. “When we were evaluated in 2016, we scored 64 per cent, in 2017 we got 74 per cent, and now in 2018 we have 83 per cent, it is clear that we are making progress.”
Level one requires 85 per cent.