NYAGATARE – Patients seeking treatment at Nyakigando Health Centre in Katabagemu sector, Nyagatare district have complained over delays they suffer due to what they say is inadequate health personnel.
When The New Times visited the Health Centre on Wednesday, patients were sleeping on verandas waiting for treatment from the two available health personnel at the health centre.
‘I have been here waiting for doctors since morning. I am tired and sick but I cannot leave until I get medication,’ one of the patients said.
It takes two to three days to be attended to, according to patients who were interviewed.
‘You sometimes spend two or three days waiting for doctors here,’ another patient lamented.
When The New Times contacted the health centre director, Eric Twagirayezu, he admitted that the lack of health personnel was their biggest challenge. He explained that the health centre was financially constrained to employ more personnel.
‘It is an urgent issue. We are lacking staff in different departments like maternity, vaccination, VCT and consultation. It has greatly affected patients and even us,’ he said.
Twagirayezu added that the situation is getting out of hand with the current ratio standing at one nurse to 70 patients a day, yet normally one nurse is supposed to attend to 30 patients.
‘We try our level best but the issue of staff is still challenging,’ he said.
In a separate telephone interview, the director of Nyagatare Hospital, Dr. Benon Rukunda said he was aware of the problem but it was beyond his control.
‘The only thing we are doing is to sensitise residents to contribute money to pay more staff as we wait for the Ministry of Health to revise the budget for the health centre,’ he said, adding that the budget will be revised in June.