The state of health in the country is commendable, especially thanks to improved service delivery, Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi has said.
The premier was yesterday briefing Parliament on developments, challenges and new strategies on healthcare service delivery in the country.
Highlighting achievements over the last seven years, Murekezi said the current national policy on health was one of the pillars of Vision 2020.
“Life expectancy stood at 49 years in 2012 but was 66 by the end of 2015. So far, the country boasts of around 471 health posts at the cell level, 499 health centres at the sector level, and 36 district hospitals and seven referral hospitals,” he said.
The Government has continuously put effort to raise doctor-to-patient ratio where, “today we have 19,951 medical service providers, of whom 14,482 are involved in direct services,” Murekezi added.
He said the country has 1,089 general practitioners, 303 specialists, 10,795 nurses, 752 midwives, and 1,543 laboratory technicians.
Murekezi lauded some latest developments on the usage of ICT like drones in medical supplies delivery and the establishment of Rwanda Health Management Information system.
However, some lawmakers expressed concerns over persistent challenges in Mutuelle de Sante health insurance scheme, mostly on arrears Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) owes local governments.
The arrears, amounting up to Rwf4 billion accumulated since 2016, according to legislators, have hampered disbursement of medicines by district pharmacies.
“There is a need for a complete analysis of the rampant issues in Mutuelle de Sante, the arrears have brought services to a standstill and this puts lives of patients in danger,” said MP Jeanne d’Arc Nyinawase.
The Prime Minister was also urged to look into the issue of Mutuelle staff working at RSSB, whose contracts MP Euthalie Nyirabega said expire in June.
“These workers petitioned us expressing dissatisfaction due to constant changes in contracts and reduction of their salaries,” she explained.
According to Nyirabega, RSSB had wanted to put the Mutuelle staffers in category five of public servants, which would warrant a paycut. This, she added, pushed the Ministry of Public Service and Labour to advise RSSB to keep them on short-term contract.
But Premier Murekezi explained that the money in question will have to be cross-checked to make sure the outstanding bill was not inflated.
He said Mutuelle subscription has reached 83 per cent of the total coverage, saying this constitutes a “positive development.”
The premier also challenged health stakeholders to work toward raising family planning uptake that currently stands at only 48 per cent.