February 4, 2020

Kagame Says Rwanda’s Hospitals Are Not Hospitals


President Kagame and Health Minister Dr Diane Gashumba, and Defense Minister Maj Gen Albert Murasira (extreme right)

President Paul Kagame has told the Health Minister that the facilities in the country that are called hospitals do not merit to have that name, and wants them changed “as fast as we can”.

In a speech after inaugurating a state-of-the-art Rwanda Cancer Center at the Rwanda Military Hospital in Kigali, Kagame said the work done there was “excellent”.

“I was telling the Minister of health a while ago before I came here that they have a lot to learn from [the contractor] in terms of construction, and furnishing and equipping our hospitals,” said Kagame.

The Cancer Center was constructed by UNTEC and other subcontractors. It will offer different cancer interventions including Radiation Therapy or Radiotherapy that treats many different types of cancers.

“Sometimes you go to a hospital and you don’t know if its a hospital,” said Kagame. “Wherever I go, I see a bit of things that need to be put right.”

He continued: “A hospital is a hospital, it is a unique place that has its uniqueness, whether it is construction, furniture and so on.”

“Let me not say too much about that,” he said.

“I think we can learn and just do things they way they should be done. Put the right things, in the right order, in the right place. I think we need to do that as fast as we can.”

With this directive, the entire government is going to turn upside down for the coming days, weeks and months. It is now the new priority. There are going to be endless meetings and site visits.

Entire structures could be brought down to reshape them. New materials will be procured for hospitals. In short, the hospitals, as we know them now, are going to change.

With regard to the new cancer center, President Kagame said it will save the country “large sums of money” that have been spent on cancer treatment abroad for Rwandans.

“We dont have a lot of money in the first place, but then large sums of money were being spent treating a few patients but [yet] we have many patients to treat,” said Kagame.

“Now, many more Rwandans will be able to get the care they need with their families close by,” added President Kagame.

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