The Minister for Health Diane Gashumba will this week present a proposal to the Prime Minister’s Office in which she is seeking incentives especially accommodation for medical doctors.
Gashumba, announced this last week while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth ahead of their countrywide field trip.
She explained that this was one of the strategies that were being put in place to facilitate medical doctors to deliver their services better and to be readily available whenever needed at work.
There are 1300 medical doctors operating in government hospitals.
So far, only the recently inaugurated Shyira Hospital in north provides accommodation to its doctors.
“His Excellency recommended that medical staff hostels are added to the recently inaugurated Shyira hospital and we can see what positive impact this has made. We are discussing with other ministries and the Prime Minister on basic housing and we are hopeful that issue will be fixed soon. They agree that accommodation for doctors is the minimum you can provide. We are trying to see how to build affordable hostels next to each hospital in every district,” she said.
Gashumba said that providing accommodation will play a significant role in reducing the strain to those who especially live in remote areas. She also said that the move would reduce the number of doctors who leave government hospitals and opt for private ones.
On service delivery in hospitals, the minister explained that the Ministry does occasional evaluations which she said is taken seriously since it is relied on to inform disciplinary decisions.
“As a Ministry, we cannot tolerate someone who doesn’t deliver good service, someone who plays around with human life. Good customer care should be something that we all strive for whether in medical services or elsewhere. We have laws and we do evaluations. If during this evaluation process we find mistakes that directly impacts a human life, we are not lenient. We continue to teach, to sensitise and to punish. We need information on any bad customer care,” she said.
The president of the Committee Agnes Mukazibera observed that there could be quark medics in the system, advising the Ministry to do scrutiny to bring them to justice.
“Those with fake papers should not only be fired but they should face justice. They are playing around with lives and earning salaries based on fake documents. This is government money and they should be charged with forgery,” she said.
The Vice President of the Committee Veneranda Nyirahirwa wondered if something was being done to put a stop to operations by unlicensed traditional healers who she said are misleading locals, discouraging them from visiting medical doctors.
“Some of them claim that they can treat all sorts of ailments, and I have even heard that they offer reflexology where they have ended up leaving some of their patients disabled. Is there any sort of regulation for this,” she asked.
To this Gashumba explained that the Ministry would soon hold meetings with media houses to discourage them from advertising the ‘work’ of these doctors.
“We are planning to discuss with media houses to support this initiative of stopping these illegal healers. Whenever we have found out where they operate from, we have swiftly closed their premises. We should all partner to eradicate these malpractices,” she said.
The meetings between the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth and government institutions continues this week with scheduled appearances of University of Rwanda (UR) and Ministry of Labour.