The Ministry of Health in partnership with district administrations is currently undertaking a fresh drive to inspect all health service providers in the country to find out whether they fulfill the necessary requirements.
The inspection that started at the beginning of this month will see each district carry out a survey on its pharmacies, dispensaries, hospitals: both government and private, traditional health practitioners, among others and give a report to the ministry.
The State Minister for Health and Primary Healthcare, Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi said that the inspection aims at ensuring that all medics working in health institutions have the necessary requirements, acceptable facilities, give authentic drugs among other things as stipulated in the 1998 Art of Healing Law.
The law among other things calls for prior authorization by the ministry for anyone who wishes to perform any medical act on a human being, prohibits the use of medical titles by unqualified people as well as any form of advertising and promotions capable of misleading the public or giving them biased or incompetent information about preventive, diagnostic, or curative properties of medicines or other health related products.
It also prohibits any public display or sale of drugs outside an authorized pharmaceutical establishment for example in a market.
“Concerning this inspection, we are doing it because it is a great responsibility for the ministry to protect the citizens and bring health services closer to them,” Ndimubanzi explained, adding that this is not the first time they have carried out inspections since the ministry always inspects the health service providers though before had not done it partnering with districts.
According to Malick Kayumba, the Head of Health Communications Department at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, usual inspections are always done quarterly throughout the year.
Ndimubanzi said no medical service provider should give any excuse of not knowing the law. He urged medics to focus on saving lives and not use their profession to make money.
“The greatest principle for our work is giving life, not doing business. Life is not like commodities we sell, it is a service we give to the people so that we see them getting better. The time we start treating our profession as a business, that is when the confusion emerges,” he said.
He added that the inspection should not be mistaken to be targeting only specific groups of health service providers especially traditional ones,
“It is for all be it traditional or modern health service providers. Everything you don’t do well as a medic result into death of someone or other negative effects. So if there are people who don’t have the requirements, we as the ministry cannot leave them to work,” he said.
He called unto people not to trust their health with people whom they are not sure of, as he pledged that the ministry of health will continue inspecting and making sure that the services provided in the health sector are accepted by the law.