• A new wing with 45 outpatient consultation rooms set to be constructed
• More medical specialists to be hired
• Hospital to set up a research and training centre
• A new corporate/VIP section in the pipeline
• US$3 million worth of equipment to be purchased
King Faisal Hospital is undergoing a major infrastructure upgrade expected to cost some $20 million (about Rwf19 billion).
The upgrade has been in the pipeline for a number of years now. It had initially been expected to kick off under previous management by Oshen Group, whose contract was terminated in April last year.
The facelift will see construction of a new block named ‘Doctor’s Plaza’ which will have 45 outpatient consultation rooms, and an education and research centre.
Construction works are already underway for the proposed outpatient block, while works on the educational wing are scheduled to commence later this year.
According to King Faisal Hospital Kigali acting chief executive Dr Edgar Kalimba, the two planned buildings will cost an estimated $17 million, while the extra $3 million will go into procurement of equipment, especially for diagnostics and imagery.
Also planned is a corporate/VIP clinic, whose construction is expected to be finalised in 2021, while the hospital will also renovate sections of the existing facilities, including the lobby, electricity installations and ramps.
The idea is to make the 30-year-old referral hospital more efficient and effective, officials said.
A Chinese firm, Power China, is undertaking the construction works.
Meanwhile, Dr Kalimba urged their clients and patients to bear with any disruptions emanating from the ongoing works.
The Government is financing the project, according to Kalimba.
The upgrade was initially scheduled to begin in 2017 when the facility was under the management of Oshen Group SA, an Angolan firm which had committed to invest about Euro 21 million in the effort.
However, the Government, in April last year, terminated the contract with the company and appointed new management for the country’s biggest referral hospital.
Dr Kalimba was picked to lead the team.
He told The New Times that to further improve patients’ experience, they are in the process of hiring more specialists.
Between 10 and 15 medical specialists are expected to join the hospital which currently has about 40 specialists (part-time and fulltime).
In-demand services that need more experts include internal medicine such as kidney ailments, gastrointestinal and blood-related diseases, he said.
The hospital says it plans to step up specialised complex services such as cardiac surgery and oncology (cancer treatment), and is looking to commence kidney transplants over the next five years.
King Faisal’s turnaround strategy partly seeks to reduce the need for Rwandans to travel abroad for specialised medical care.
Previous management had laid off about 70 workers, prompting concerns about the hospital’s ability to deliver quality services and staff motivation.
To address these concerns, Kalimba said, the hospital has recruited about 40 new staff members bringing the number of its employees to 563.
Though Oshen Group SA has since exited and an audit has since been completed, The New Times understands that negotiations with the Government on reconciliation of accounts are still ongoing.
It remains unclear how much Oshen Group invested in King Faisal Hospital during the two years it managed the hospital.
Kalimba said the hospital was in sound financial position following government’s investment, which has allowed them to undertake the upgrade and specialist recruitment.