Public hospitals in the country should work hard to improve their performance if they are to earn international accreditation.
The remarks were made by the Minister for Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, while addressing managers of health facilities during a meeting in Rubavu district, last Friday.
The meeting aimed at recognising five hospitals which successfully underwent the first step of the accreditation process and are preparing for the next step.
The five hospitals are Ruhengeri, Bushenge, Kibungo, Rwamagana, and Ruhango.
The first four completed the first phase of accreditation, while Ruhango Hospital still lacks some requirements to sail through successfully.
The process is monitored by a standards development taskforce certified by Joint Commission International (JCI), an American organisation that accredits hospitals around the world.
“To be accredited means learning to do the best in every aspect of the hospital, administrative, care delivery, emergency, delivery rooms, neonatology and all have some administrative procedures that have be followed. Doctors, nurses and paramedics need to give their all,” Binagwaho said.
She added that the meeting was an opportunity for some hospitals which went through the first step of accreditation to share experiences and inspire other hospitals that are yet to succeed at that basic level.
“This is just step one of accreditation. Step one means you have all administrative structures to start your journey towards accreditation,” she said.
Binagwaho added that for hospitals to get full accreditation, it will take them more efforts and time but stressed that the first step was hard as it required mindset change and believed that hospital managers had understood the accreditation process and will meet the requirements.
There is a team of selected and trained surveyors who will periodically monitor and identify gaps in hospitals to meet the requirements in each step of accreditation process, Binagwaho said.
She said the Ministry of Health, the Integrated Health Strengthening System Project and other partners will support the health facilities close the existing gaps and meet the required standards.
Only King Faisal Kigali has a full accreditation certificate in the country.
“We have made strides in hygiene, customer care, and administrative management, but we still have a long way to go,” she said.
The accreditation process of Rwandan hospitals started in 2010.
Dr Deogratias Ndekezi, the director of Ruhengeri Hospital, that emerged the first in achieving step one of the accreditation process, attributed the achievement to team work.
Other hospitals, both private and public, will also go through the accreditation process, according to officials.