Reports of hospitals retaining patients over failure to clear medical bills have been circulating in the recent past. Kigali University Teaching Hospital (CHUK), Muhima Hospital and Nyagatare are recorded among hospitals that retained patients.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health (MINISANTE), Dr Nyemazi Jean Pierre has told RBA that they didn’t authorize hospitals and health centers to retain patients.
“The ministry can’t instruct hospitals to retain patients. We always put efforts in mobilizing citizens to own medical insurance to avoid the matter of failure to clear medical bills since people have to pay for services at hospitals. It is the money collected which helps to replenish medical supplies and pay employees among others, ” he said.
“We do not approve of hospitals retaining patients. We must understand why these hospitals made these decisions and advise on how to address the matter other than retaining patients,” he added.
The director of Muhima Hospital, Dr Ndizeye Ntwali said retaining patients is meant to avoid defaulters and be accountable to the Auditor General.
Muhima hospital counts 129 people who didn’t clear medical bills owing the HOSPITAL more than Rwf 10 million in 2015/2016.The same hospital had 153 defaulters in 2014/2015 leaving a loss of Rwf10 million.