In the course of our daily pursuits, many of us do not take time to imagine when we might be admitted in hospital; possibly because the imagination is unpleasant or we have other immediate and pressing issues we must handle “in-the-now” of time.
Many times, we only think of hospitals when we or our loved ones are sick and even then, we do think more about the bills and the pain that is undergone.
There are certainly persons, who find food cooked and served by hospital staff, out of the ordinary, while to others, the need for such social obligation on part of our government sounds unnecessary.
This is because there are vehicles and people at home that do run such errands as delivering tea, lunch and supper to them or their loved ones admitted in hospitals. The idea that food is served by hospital staff or contracted groups of people, may not sound well for some people in our country.
Unfortunately, there are people in our society who do not have attendants and the means to buy food while admitted.
All people at some time are potential candidates for admission to hospitals; while travelling, at home, in the office and even recreation centers.
Diseases, ailments and injuries can attack and require admission even to the seemingly healthiest persons without prior signs. It could be a motor accident while you travel or at home as has been the case with vehicles that “lose control” and injure people at their homes.
It could be a heart attack or any other complication. More so, it could be a mental problem that is totally unexpected.
Such unexpected cases may require that good Samaritans help the sick person and take him or her to the government hospital. Whereas the immediate task is for the medics to save the life of the person in question, how to feed the patient becomes a challenge.
In Rwanda, admitted patients in hospitals, have food delivered by relatives and where that is not possible, the patient can hope to eat what has been leftover by other patients or share with those who are willing to share with him or her. For patients with money, they can order what they want to eat with cash.
In case of accident victims, the first thing people on the scene of accidents do, is to empty the pockets and any bags of the victims and by the time they reach the hospital, they have no money with which to order food.
Other people may be admitted in hospitals, far from their homes, such that the means of delivering food on a daily basis is simply beyond their means.
In other cases, patients may be unable to communicate with their loved ones and in others; there are no loved ones at all who may want to shoulder such a financial burden.
People in the medical world, tell us that a fed patient eases their work and a starving one or one worried about starving will certainly delay in recovering.
People, who might need food provided by hospitals, will not ask for expensive meals. A dish of ugari and beans will do for a meal. Hospitals can tender for companies and individuals to offer the service of providing cooked food for its inpatients, or hire cooks to do the job at the hospital premises.
The hospital management would provide, on a daily basis, the number of patients who need to be fed to the contractors or staff so as to control and monitor expenditure.
The central or local governments, may top-up the bill on top of contributions from a given percentage of all people who are insured with medical insurance companies.
Many of these companies are run as monopolies giving no option to employees in certain categories of choosing their medical insurers, and in the process accumulating large amounts of money with no social responsibilities to the people of Rwanda to talk about.
Some of the medical insurance companies get a percentage of employees without giving them opportunity to choose. Their partner pharmacies perpetually lack the “generic” drugs that their partner clinics prescribe.
They have blotted numbers of employees who are arrogant and abusive to their clients. Therefore, by contributing to the welfare of less fortunate Rwandans, they may find something noble to give to Rwanda.
By providing food to inpatients in government hospitals, the recovery of patients who do not have the attendants and the means to find food for themselves, will be speeded up and families whose meager resources are spent transporting food to the said patients, may use such means for other pressing issues.
The medical insurance companies, will also find it worthwhile to give back to the people of Rwanda but most importantly, inpatients who lack the means to buy food for them-selves, will not suffer the pain because of ailments and hunger at the same time.