Medical doctors in Rwanda say working overtime yet with little pay and lack of medical equipment is one of the reasons they quit public hospitals to work in private hospitals or even quit the career for good.
Establishing measures for medical doctors to stay in the public health sector, using specialized doctors and also training those involved in the health sector in bid to increase their numbers were some of the resolutions in the national leaders retreat 2017. The head of the medical and dental council Dr. Emmanuel Rudakemwa emphasized that these resolutions need to be put into effect.
''What we ask the leadership is for continued reforms, for proper education of doctors for them to complete their academics with passion for their career. Secondly, we would like the government to lift up the livelihood of doctors as we mentioned there are still challenges of little basic salary, they transport facilitation, accommodation and working environment. They need a salary to help pay school fees for their children, get insurance easily because doctors also get sick, that would help them and help them in the profession and stay passionate,” Rudakemwa said.
The issues around working many hours, little pay and lack of equipment to facilitate work are some of the challenges that will be deliberated upon by people involved in the health sector.
Dr. Ngabo Tharcisse one of the doctors explained; '' In having so much work, you find that you can’t spare time to do other things which in the end makes your salary very small compared to the work done, there are also other difficult situations, doctors usually don’t have houses, no means of transport..."
Even though there are still many challenges that affect their daily work, medical doctors claim that there still have passion for their work and saving citizen’s lives.
Dr Mutangazwa Avite of Kibagabaga Hospital said;'' We are happy for the development our country has achieved especially the health sector. We have contributed to reducing maternal and child death, citizens life expectancy has also increased which is an indicator that a person has a good life. Even though the government has done all possible to increase the number of medical schools, nurses and doctors, there is still a gap and need, if a doctor can test 30-40 people a day, that shows little time to objectively test a patient”.
Figures from the medical and dental council in Rwanda show that there are 1310 local medical doctors and 900 foreign doctors. Of those, 500 are specialists. Statistical figures from the NISR show that, on ratio, each doctor handles less than 6000 people.