Govt takes over management of King Faisal Hospital

King Faisal Hospital in Kigali. Inset is new acting chief executive Dr Edgar Kalimba. Sam Ngendahimana.

King Faisal Hospital is now under new management following the termination of a contract with Oshen Healthcare Rwanda, a private Angolan firm that was running and managing the hospital since 2017.

The Government terminated the contract with Oshen Healthcare on April 2, this year.

The hospital’s management has since been taken over by government, which has since appointed new management to run the country’s biggest referral hospital.

Dr Edgar Kalimba is now the acting Chief Executive Officer.

Dr Kalimba, a paediatrician brings on board expertise in hospital management.

Previously, Dr Kalimba has served as the Director of Maternal and Child Division at King Faisal Hospital as well as Medical Director in Gabon.

Dr Kalimba also has experience in consultancy on quality assurance, skills development, primary healthcare improvement and telemedicine.

Among the tasks ahead for Dr Kalimba and his management team is to restore public confidence in the 30-year-old facility, fast-tracking goals to becoming a regional facility.

Tasks awaiting them also include ensuring that the hospital has adequate staff across all departments and that they are well motivated.

In an interview with The New Times, Kalimba said that they have already started engaging staff to engage staff to find ways to improve services, and improve motivation.

On Wednesday, he held a meeting with staff to gather ideas, and better understand their concerns.

“We are confident that whatever concerns are there will be addressed in a methodical and sustainable manner,” he said.

The facility will also need investments in several aspects such as improving skills and competencies of staff in various disciplines, replacement of equipment as well as infrastructure refurbishment.

On this, he said, a lot of work has been done by the Government and, over time, they would be reviewing alternatives available and the best options.

King Faisal’s expectation from the public are high considering that it is one of the main referral facilities in the country and is expected to not only provide quality services but also be more affordable.

“Healthcare in Rwanda is complex, we want quality which tends to be expensive but at the same time we need to make sure it’s accessible and affordable. We are reviewing models and options available,” he said.

When Oshen Healthcare Rwanda took over management of the hospital in 2017, there was a commitment to invest about Euro 21 million over the course of five years. It is still unclear how much had been invested by the time of the contract termination as the audit process is currently ongoing.

The former management was not very popular among a section of the public at the time of their exit owing to reasons such as declining quality of services.

The former management in 2017 laid off about 70 employees which could have affected service delivery.

Going forward, Dr Kalimba assured the general public that they were doing their best to ensure that patients get the services they deserve.

He also asked patients and the general public to provide feedback on services delivered which would help management determine the way forward on certain aspects.

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