Waking up to Kigali

02Aug09

Have settled in Rwanda to complete a global health hospital efficiency study for six weeks.

Beautiful city of many hills.  Have arrived during dry season, which the hills are mostly brown and barren.  The weather is good, but seven mosquito bites on day one was greeting for hello.

Our team of 3 is based at the central referral hospital of the country and working on areas of hospital improvement to help slot into President Kagame’s Vision 2020 of biomedical investment in Rwanda.  We’re contributing, along with the hospital and Ministry of Health to work towards Vision 2020.

There are many interesting themes of biomedical investment for Rwanda including the following:

– establishing centre of excellence for hospital services for the Rwandan people and to service the Eastern African region

– create world-class clinical research facilities and infrastructure

– coordinating efforts of Rwandan Biomedical Cluster (integrating all levels of healthcare and teaching/training of new medical staff)

– establishing a biotechnology cluster – innovation and new firms

==> We have drilled down our project to the hospital level and analysis.  As with any hospital anywhere in the world, the integration of quality patient services with financial sustainability is key.  And this will be our focus.

What I find interesting about the provision of healthcare services and drugs is the balancing act of access and public good for all.  For example, if an airline needs an additional aircraft, it will need to purchase the good (ie. Boeing 737) – very expensive? Yes. But if the airline had no money, Boeing will not sell/give them the good.  Over time, innovative third parties have stepped up (ie. GE capital) and says to the airline, even though you may not be able to pay for it all at once, here is the option for you to pay for the good in installments, and in turn, the third party will also earn from this installment plan.

Perhaps a similar analogy can be made with healthcare? Third party insurance. When you are not sick, you contribute a monthly premium. When you are sick, the third party steps in to cover costs that you may not be afford.  However, the difference in healthcare is that it is a foundational good and basic human right.  Access barriers should be as low as possible and responsibility of government to extend healthcare benefits for every member.

The Rwandan government has made great strides and done an excellent job of decreasing access barriers to healthcare.  There is the basic gov’t offered assistance called “Mutuale” insurance which offers coverage for rural villagers 1000 RwFr. ($2 USD) to cover a whole family (regardless number of children) per year.

Healthcare services in Rwanda consists of public, private and traditional health systems, which are supported by the Government, development partners, non-governmental organizations and the civil society – all in coordination by Ministry of Health.

Global vision of Government of Rwanda: “to guarantee the well being of the population by increasing production and reducing poverty within an environment of good governance” and within this context as applied to healthcare “to ensure and promote the health status fo the Rwandese population by providing quality preventative, curative and rehabilitative services within a well performing health system.”

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One Response to “Waking up to Kigali”

  1. 1 Ronke

    Looking forward to more updates Miss Jules!!!! Keep up the good and exciting work! and have fun too!


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