The President gave the advice today as he met with over 800 medical doctors from both public and private institutions for an interactive discussion at Intare Conference Arena in Gasabo district, Kigali city.
The meeting aimed at discussing medics’ role in the development of the nation.
Medics told the President that health sector in Rwanda has grown remarkably going hand in hand with the increase of health care practitioners.
Today, Rwanda counts 1,464 doctors in Private and Public Hospitals has 751 General Practitioners and 504 specialist doctors.
There are also 209 medics who are simultaneously carrying our internships and undertaking Masters. This shows that the country has at least one medic to attend 8,197 people.
The number of nurses rose from 1 attending 1,291 patients in 2010 to 1 attending 1,904 patients in 2017. The number of midwives grew from 1 per 66,749 to 1 midwife per 4064 in 2017.
The increase bore fruits that maternal and child deaths reduced by 75% and 79% respectively in the past 20 years.
The country reports 58,445 community health workers countrywide.
Dr. David Ntirushwa, the president of Rwanda Medical Association said that shortage of equipment remains a challenge despite commendable achievements including the increase of specialist doctors.
“There is an increase of medics at hospitals but the issue of adequate equipment persists,” he said.
Ntirushwa also hinted on increased salary and incentives for medical practitioners to get transport facilitation and accommodations.
President Kagame reminded medics of their role to transform the society they live in and take part in problem solving.
“You are aware of the country’s situation, siblings and friends. You have to take it into account starting from you asking the question. Your request is one of the concerns but not the only one to be addressed by the government. You are part of solutions providers. You have to play your role,” he said.
The President blamed carelessness and ineffective performance of some medical practitioners drawing all their attention to a public figure seeking services and abandoning other patients.
He requested the Minister of Health and relevant institutions to collaboratively solve the problem of medics making own choices for specialized medical courses other than preferring specialty in wanting priority areas of the country.
Kagame asked medical practitioners to reduce the prevalence of health tourism and change the mindsets of people with wrong perceptions that Rwanda can’t make it. He also urged them to make necessary transfers.
“Change such mindsets aligning it with capacity building so that people perceive Rwanda as a transformed country,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba said that health sector made remarkable strides and gained international repute that it needs to be upheld and taken farther.
“We built credibility in reducing maternal deaths, preventing HI/ AIDS and Malaria. We need to ensure that nothing holds us back,” she said.
The successes are attributed to efforts expended in the advancement of health sector allocating 16% of the national budget to the sector; introducing inclusive community based medical insurance, and community health workers among others.