Health ministry should heed senators over hospitals

In yesterday’s issue, we carried the story of senators calling for bettering conditions in hospitals and health centres. The call came out in a report compiled by the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare and Human Rights, and it strongly advised that more health centres, equipment, and better services should be planned for, as the services being provided now are below efficiency due to lack of enough resources.

In yesterday’s issue, we carried the story of senators calling for bettering conditions in hospitals and health centres. The call came out in a report compiled by the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare and Human Rights, and it strongly advised that more health centres, equipment, and better services should be planned for, as the services being provided now are below efficiency due to lack of enough resources.

“Hospitals and health centres still lack enough equipment like laboratories, workers and enough space,” Senator Odette Nyiramirimo observed.

This vindicates The New Times story that appeared last week, talking about the trials and tribulations at University Central Hospital, Kigali (CHUK). The story basically highlighted specific cases of want, like hospital beds and not-so-caring staffers, and even a little bit of corruption. The following day ministry officials protested the veracity of the story.

We realise that there are many sectors competing for the little resources that our national coffers can finance. But it is a matter of prioritising and proper planning. Like the senators said, health centres for example could get drug subsidies for the more common ailments like cancer and kidney failures, so that patients do not have to order them from abroad. This, the ministry of Health can surely manage.

As for the embarrassing issue of patients being shunted from one hospital to another and then back due to lack of beds, this is simply criminal negligence. Can’t a patient get treatment while on the hospital floor? How about if the patient died being moved to and fro, when death could have been averted if the ailment had been addressed quickly?

It is simply too frustrating struggling to overcome transport difficulties from such far-off places like Nyagatare to reach Kigali, only to be turned away from hospital doors. This is comparable to being turned away from the gates of Heaven when you have done all to reach there. We all look to hospitals for saving our lives when they are threatened by diseases.

The New Times adds its voice to that of the senators in our call to the ministry of Health to improve hospital conditions in all critical aspects.

Ends

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