The Health Ministry (MINISANTE) says a story published by The Chronicles about patients being detained in various hospitals around Kigali is “misleading”, claiming there are no such cases.
The Health Ministry is responding to the story: Inside Kigali’s Hospitals “Detaining” Patients Unable to Pay Treatment Bills
Here is full statement sent to The Chronicles:
Greetings from the Rwanda Health Communication Center (Rwanda Biomedical Center/Ministry of Health).
This is to appreciate your efforts to advocating for the needy which is what media should actually constantly be doing. As a division in charge of responding to health reporting in media, we have conducted follow ups into the Health Facilities mentioned in your story and found no single case of a detained patient over uncleared bill or any other issue.
Health Facilities don’t “detain”. the Director Generals from the hospitals mentioned can provide more updated information and we believe they should have been given space to respond to raised issues.
Your article is misleading in terms of the reality currently on the ground and the purpose of this email is a request to correct it and allocate fair space for response to health professionals especially hospital managements.
Uncleared bills is a serious issue because it leads to Health Facilities not being able to sustain medical services. However, The Government of Rwanda has provided universal health insurance coverage. Failing to adhere to Mutuelle de Santé is one of the main reasons patients find themselves in the incapacity of paying medical services. No where in our country did a Health Facility deny service to a patient because they could not pay. But with support from its media partners, the Health Sector in Rwanda expects an even more vigorous advocacy into having more adherence and timely renewal of Mutuelle de Santé in order to find solution to the issue of uncleared hospital bills.
Every Rwandan health matters to the Government of Rwanda and every service currently available into our health system needs to be sustained to ensure its continued provision.
Once again we thank you for partnership and we are looking forward to having your story updated.