Rwanda to receive 180 new ambulances

By Esther Muhozi
On 19 December 2023 at 02:46

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, has announced that Rwanda is set to receive a fleet of new ambulances in the near future, with the intention of addressing the existing gaps in the health sector.

This disclosure was made on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, during a session in parliament when he responded to Deputy Nirere Marie Thérèse’s inquiry. She had raised concerns about the inadequacy and aging status of the two ambulances at Ruhengeri General Hospital.

Minister Dr. Ndagijimana was present in the General Assembly to elaborate on a 75 million Euro loan designated for the expansion, repair, and renovation of Ruhengeri Hospital.

Expressing her concerns, Parliamentarian Nirere stated, "The expansion of Ruhengeri Hospital is undoubtedly essential, but during our last visit, they revealed they have only two ambulances, which are insufficient, especially considering their age."

Highlighting the potential challenges with increased hospital capacity, she continued, "As the hospital expands its services and attracts patients from distant locations, the current fleet of ambulances may prove inadequate. We need to anticipate this demand and address the insufficient ambulance situation."

In response, Minister Dr. Ndagijimana acknowledged the broader issue of ambulance shortages within the health sector. However, he assured that a sustainable solution is underway, with approximately 180 new ambulances slated to arrive in Rwanda soon. He stated, "I would like to update the assembly that efforts are being made to address the shortage of ambulances. An order for 180 ambulances has been placed, and they are en route for delivery."

Furthermore, he emphasized that a coordinated effort between health centers and hospitals would ensure the optimal distribution of these ambulances to expedite patients’ access to medical care.

He added, "The ambulance shortage is actively being addressed, and as capacity allows, they will be made available. Some of the ordered ambulances are already on their way."

The issue of insufficient ambulances in Rwanda has been a recurrent concern raised by the public and health sector leaders during parliamentary sessions. The ongoing efforts to acquire and distribute a significant number of ambulances aim to alleviate this critical issue and enhance the country’s healthcare infrastructure.