Long waiting queue still a challenge in Rwanda’s health system despite interventions by RHSS project

On 14th May 2019, the Rwanda health system strengthening  RHSS project has come to an end before financially supporting Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, leaving some obstacles like patients waiting queue at health centers unsolved.

Patients’ waiting time is one of the major problems to handle in Rwanda’s health service centers, which currently disturbs residents, yet the Project closes before reaching the target. However, the   ministry vowed to strongly focus on this issue.

This delay has made patients to fear services from public health centers and hospitals and always complain for change, which is not possible at the moment.

Between the dates of 14th to 16th November 2018 theProfile.rw    spent days   in Kigali University teaching Hospital CHUK, investigating   the same issue.

During the process, we talked to a mass of patients their relative-care takers in the hospital, they highly raised the issue as the disturbing one.

Theogene Hakizimana is the one   of interviewees, he said “At least today they have improved service delivery, in the last week you could even spend 2- 3 hours waiting for being handled, and in the time your patient is suffering   because they cannot attend to her/him before you pay.”

Immaculee Mukakarangwa, a patient at the same hospital said “It is my first time to come here for healthcare services, I can see the long queue of patients and cashiers are few to serve us. There is a need to hire more staff to handle the issue,”

CHUK is a case study where poor healthcare service delivery is easily found. In the closing of Rwanda Health System Strengthening (RHSS) project, officials said the issue stays for longer in all hospitals countrywide.

Speaking at the event, Allain Joyal, the country representative for management sciences for health and RHSS Project coordinator reiterated that the problem is still observed.

“Waiting time in the hospital is a problem, we know it is many hours, we measured and we have proposed a number of facilities and we have seen some improvements but still people wait between 2 and 3 hours, that is still a lot, and the ministry needs to know that. This is a problem to step up over. We need different system again, different approaches, and very judicious to reduce that further. A lot has been done and the leadership’s vision is strong.” Joyal said.

“The commitment is strong and we will be able to have synergy with that, but there is much to do. To bring the waiting time for example down to half an hour or fortyfive minutes that will require high magnitude of order and order system changes, practice changes and also some habits changes,” he added.

The Minister of Health of Rwanda Dr. Diane Gashumba said that they are trying to increase the number of workers in health centres to improve services despites persisting challenges.

“This is our duty as the ministry of health to deal with this problem. The duty of Rwanda Health System Strengthening project is to financially empower us. Meanwhile, there are some good steps ahead, some hospitals showed that they decreased a number of deaths but the journey is still long and costing,” Dr. Gashumba said.

Dr. Gashumba said that the ministry of health in partnership with the ministry of education with the University of Rwanda are doing the best to increase the number of students enrolled in health schools.

This year, health students have been accredited 3times comparing to the last years, which is making sure that they are acquiring the needed sophisticated health skills.

Rwanda Health System Strengthening project is a five-year USAID funded project with $24,892,688 implemented by MSH. It was launched in November 2014 with the objective of achieving strengthened and expanded performance of the Rwandan Health System and national decentralized and community levels.

 By Jerome Munyentwari & Elias Hakizimana.














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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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