King Faisal Hospital to introduce heart surgery, kidney transplant

On 15 January 2020 at 02:56

King Faisal Hospital has started renovations that will allow it to compete on an international level and incorporate new services that were not available in Rwanda including heart surgery, kidney transplant and chemotherapy services for cancer patients among others. The renovations will last for 5 years and include building new infrastructures, improving the quality of service and hiring more qualified medical personnel.

In April 2019, the Government of Rwanda terminated its contract with Angolan private firm Oshen Healthcare which managed King Faisal Hospital over failure to improve the consistent poor services that damaged the reputation of the hospital.

Besides improving its efficiency, the renovations will allow King Faisal Hospital to provide medical services that Rwandans had to go seek outside of the country.

King Faisal Hospital acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Edgar Kalimba told IGIHE that since the hospital is managed by the government now, there will be room for improvement. He mentioned that the hospital will introduce new services including kidney transplant and heart surgery.

“We are planning on improving our services to incorporate heart surgery and kidney transplant. So far, we have the facilities to help patients with kidney diseases filter and remove waste, minerals, and fluid from their blood by producing urine. In the future, we expect the hospital will have the facilities to conduct kidney transplants."

People with the end-stage renal disease usually go to India for treatment. Besides kidney transplant being a costly procedure, patients are also subjected to a lifelong medication routine including immunosuppressant medicines to stop the body from rejecting the new kidney.

Dr. Kalimba mentioned that once the hospital will start conducting kidney transplant, the procedure will be less costly than travelling abroad for medical care.

“Travelling for medical care can be very costly since patients have to pay for airfare, hospital bills and stay. King Faisal Hospital will facilitate the procedure since patients will no longer need to travel.”

King Faisal Hospital currently has 40 specialized physicians on a total of 80 doctors but none of them is qualified in conducting kidney transplant.

Dr Kalimba said that the hospital will request the expertise of specialized doctors to treat patients with kidney diseases in the future.

Between 10 and 15 medical experts are expected to join the hospital to treat heart and venous diseases as well as blood infections such as Septicemia.

The ongoing works are expected to cost an estimated Rwf 18 billion. The first construction phase started towards the end of 2019 and will end in 2021 costing $20 million (Rwf 18 billion). The Government of Rwanda as the main shareholder will cover all the expenses.

The construction work includes 45 outpatient consultation rooms, a research, and training centre and a VIP consultation room to mention a few. The hospital will also train personnel to provide better services and adopt a practice-based curriculum to allow medical students to gain knowledge in various medical fields.

Dr. Kalimba said creating an in-house biomedical research center will remarkably improve patient care and add on the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare services at King Faisal Hospital.

King Faisal Hospital is the largest referral hospital in Rwanda and has been nominated for ‘the health centre of excellence in East Africa in 2013. In March this year, the hospital will be reevaluated to analyze its performance over the last 7 years.

Dr Kalimba mentioned that once the hospital will start conducting kidney transplant, the procedure will be less costly than travelling abroad for medical care.