Hospitals decry shortage of Mutuelle de Santé staff

Hospitals have called upon Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) to increase the number of personnel in the department of Community Based Health Insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Santé, to accelerate payment processes and avoid arrears.
Mothers hold their insurance cards at Gashora health centre. (File)
Mothers hold their insurance cards at Gashora health centre. (File)

Hospitals have called upon Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) to increase the number of personnel in the department of Community Based Health Insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Santé, to accelerate payment processes and avoid arrears.

In 2015 the government decided to put Mutuelle de Santé under RSSB in a move that was aimed at improving operations and enhancing service delivery to its members.

At least 80 per cent of the population subscribe to the scheme.

In 2016, the government paid all arrears to hospitals and other heath institutions totaling to over 13 billion.

Dr Avite Mutangana, the Director of Kibagabaga District Hospital said they have only one person who checks all bills and does verification before sending them to RSSB for payment.

“We need more than one person. We receive at least 200 patients a day and 90% of them use Mutuelle de Santé insurance. He has a lot of work and he can’t finish all on time,” he said.

For now, the hospital has received the August payment, the money of September will soon be disbursed as all invoices have been verified and sent to RSSB, the person in charge is currently scrutinizing October and November bills, he said.

Every month, Kibagabaga hospital receives 55 to 60 million Rwandan Francs from RSSB, he said.

Dr Pascal Nkubito the Director of Kacyiru District Hospital said that sometimes, a simple error from a Mutuelle agent at the hospital can result in payment delay.

“She is alone, she gets overwhelmed with checking invoices and when she misses something, for example, if we have counted 40 million and she is saying it’s 38million, she has no one on her side to crosscheck. We need at least two,” he said.

Likewise, Kacyiru district hospital has arrears of October and November Nkubito says.

Florence Muziganyi in charge of medical operations in RSSB said the payment period varies depending on the capacity and speed of hospital to verify the bills.

After receiving a verified bill, money is sent to the hospital’s account within 30 days, she said.

 “We are aware of the shortage of our personnel in hospitals, we’ve already done the advocacy requesting the Ministry of Public Service to change the current structure of Mutuelle de Santé to increase the number of staff in hospitals for more effective and rapid payments,” she said.

She added that hospitals have the right to request for temporaly workers from RSSB to help with bills verification, she added.

 editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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