Plans are underway by the National Prisons Services to have all prisoners covered by the community health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Sante.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, the Commissioner General of Prisons, Mary Gahonzire, said that her office is designing how to provide medical insurance to all prisoners in the country to facilitate them access health services at an affordable cost.
“We are following the government’s policy of providing all Rwandans with medical insurance and in this case, we are planning to have all prisoners registered and benefit from the scheme” Gahonzire said.
She pointed out that her department; generates enough income to cater for the facility.
“Prisoners generate a lot of money from various projects and it’s the same money we will use to avail them with medical insurance”
“In a situation of deficits, the government will intervene that is why we need to introduce this project in the budget,” she added.
Gahonzire, however, said that the specific amount to be spent is yet to be assessed.
Meanwhile, she revealed that the government is currently working on plans to upgrade some prisons while others will be merged.
“We are currently constructing a first class prison under the Gikombe project where we will merge the Ruhengeri and Gisenyi prison under one roof,” she said.
“We also have the Butamwa project where we will combine Kigali Central Prison and the Kimironko prison in a modern prison that we will construct in Butamwa.”
Currently, Rwanda has 14 prisons and according to Gahonzire, the government is planning to reduce them to nine by 2020.
She said that by 2020, all prisons in the country will meet the international standards of prisons like Mpanga prison in the Southern Province.