Treating patients who cannot afford to pay medical bills is one of the challenges undermining health service delivery at Masaka Hospital in Kicukiro District.
The hospital’s director Marcel Uwizeye made the revelation during commemmoration of the Day of the Sick, last week.
The day was marked under the theme, “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame.”
The event, held at the district hospital, saw patients receive donations of foodstuff and drinks from Inyange and a fundraising drive to assist the patients.
Uwizeye cited challenges that he said constrain the hospital’s resource envelope.
These include patients without health insurance, those without caretakers, babies dumped at the hospital, and unclaimed bodies.
He said the hospital loses over Rwf1 million a month in patients discharged without payment.
Dr Uwizeye said this year the hospital’s social services department has managed to get medical insurance for 30 people, provide meals for at least 20 patients per day, and paid for patients’ bills amounting to Rwf295,270.
He appealed to the public to get health insurance and Police to always make a follow up on patients they take to hospitals without relatives.
The Kicukiro vice mayor in charge of social affairs, Florence Uwayisaba, called for more attention for patients.
“The government can’t help all the disadvantaged, so we need to come together and find a way to move a step ahead of all such trouble. Today is a great day of unselfishness, a day of thinking about others,” Uwayisaba said.
The representative of the health counsellors at the hospital, Philomene Rubayiza, called upon people to work together for the wellbeing of patients.
“In every village there are three health counsellors, meaning that the whole district has 981.
They have done a great job as seen through the reduction of some diseases like malaria.
Therefore, we humbly call on people to help patients,” Rubayiza said.
The World Day of the Sick is usually celebrated on February 11, but Masaka Hospital marked it belatedly.