Days after the Ministry of Health started inspecting the level of services at Baho International Hospital (BIH) in Kigali, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has expressed disappointment with the manner in which the hospital responds to customer complaints.
It all started with one tweet on July 10, 2021 from one citizen, Lucy Mbabazi, who tweeted on her experience with an almost failed medical appointment she had sought with one of the doctors at the hospital.
“When you’re given a doctor’s appointment for 10am but told there are 8 people ahead of you with NO appointment!!,” Mbabazi tweeted.
The hospital said in response that if she had another urgent program to attend after meeting the doctor she could have asked the customer care team to assist.
Mbabazi stated that she eventually saw the doctor at 1pm but won’t return to the hospital and suggested that the hospital should instead respect citizen’s time and circumstances, and have a working appointment system.
The hospital responded that Mbabazi was given the appointment to come at 10 am but at this time there were many patients waiting for the service thus she was received on queue.
“If your health condition was urgent that you cannot follow the queue the emergency was the better choice,” the hospital replied on Twitter.
In the exchange, Mbabazi referred to Baho Hospital as a “trifling place”, a statement that sparked a viral attention of several Rwandans on Twitter who through their personal experience at the hospital considered this as rude.
“What a RUDE Answer, the emergency was a better option????? You can do better. Baho services are terrible and not forgetting the fact that their level of Health services should be revised,” one tweet stated.
Another Twitter user Vanie Umutoni also backed the idea that all hospitals need to have a functional appointment scheduling system and respect a patient’s time. “They are all terrible at this,” she said.
Health Minister, Dr. Daniel Ngamije said they are immediately launching a probe into reported poor services at Baho International Hospital following complaints from social media.
However, in the twist of the matter the hospital told local media that the patient’s complaint was ‘misplaced’ and “the probe will be good to witness the quality of service delivered.” The Nyarutarama-based hospital continue to be defiant on Twitter, refusing to admit any wrongdoing. As a result, many social media users came up with their own experiences at the hospital, including foreigners.
As a government agency charged with promoting customer care through the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) initiative, RDB CEO Clare Akamazi said that the fact that the hospital was being defensive instead of attending to customer needs is disappointing.
“How will you change if you can’t even be humble enough to take feedback or comment after thoroughly investigating the complaints? This false confidence isn’t good for service delivery,” Akamanzi said.
RDB used the opportunity to remind service providers that they should always remember that it doesn’t matter what they think of themselves but what customers think of them.
“Even one complaint is one too many and should be taken very seriously. Let’s all strive for excellence in service delivery,” Akamanzi said.
In the meantime, Twitter users have used the opportunity to raise several concerns including poor billing, reception, hygiene among many others they have encountered in Rwandan hospitals.
This also comes at a time when the Ministry of Health, last month, temporarily closed three health clinics based in Kigali, namely Isangano Clinic in Gasabo district, Sante Clinique in Nyarugenge, and Polyclinique le Bon Berger in Kicukiro District, over the same conditions.