The management of Kibagabaga Hospital has been officially handed over to Integrative Healthcare Rwanda (IHCR) to enable the health facility to become a Level II Teaching Hospital and a regional medical tourism centre.
The handover, held December 15, 2023, was officiated by the Minister of Health Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana following the Government of Rwanda (GoR) recently signing a Concession and Management Agreement with the IHCR for Kibagabaga
Level II Teaching Hospital.
The agreement was intended to enable the former Kibagabaga District Hospital to advance to the level of a Teaching Hospital site for the medical school in Rwanda but also act as a training site for medical students at AUCA
Minister Nsanzimana said: “This is not only going to be an opportunity for training future healthcare workers but also an opportunity to offer high standard care including specialties that were not here (at the hospital) before”.
The GoR and IHCR partnership in elevating the hospital will also come with the construction of new facilities, equipment, expertise exchange, and partnerships with other regional countries among others.
“This is a great thing for Gasabo district, for the city of Kigali but also for Rwanda and beyond because we are not only going to treat or train Rwandans but everyone who would wish to come to this hospital and the university,” Nsanzimana stated.
The IHCR Chairman, Hesron Byiringiro said that this handover marks a transition of leadership but also a confirmation of a bright future of the hospital under the guidance of the organization, to become a beacon of health, healing and hope for the people of Rwanda.
“We are confident that this partnership will bring about positive change and achievement in the care line seamlessly with our vision for the future of this hospital,” Byiringiro said.
He stated that the IHCR will uphold the highest standard of integrity, and transparency and the organizations’ contribution to patient care will undoubtedly lead to the growth of the hospital and provide exceptional healthcare.
The Kibagabaga hospital, which is now 20 years old, serves over 879,504 in Gasabo district and beyond, with an average of 5,700 patients per month with 225 beds, and a 90% occupancy level.
Kibagabaga currently offers services ranging from pediatric, surgery, internal medicine, mental health, stomatology, physiotherapy, medical imaging, cardiology and mortuary services and others.
The facility has 271 medical and support staff and supervises 17 health centres, 43 health posts, and five ambulances however has staff gaps of 260 workers, some specialties lacking equipment and skills but also limited space for beds and outpatient services.
The Minister of Health and IHCR officials laid a foundation stone on the planned hospital’s extension facilities which will include an Emergency Unit, Ophthalmology, Outpatient, and Admission Units, and a revamp of the Main entrance gate.
IHCR Vice President and Senior Advisor Dr. Zeno L. Charles-Marcel said that the task ahead is the transformation of the district hospital to a level II teaching hospital and that is a task that will require a lot of hard work of which they are ready to take head-on.
“We are up to the task because we are standing on the foundation of commitment, not only from IHCR and Government of Rwanda but our staff that have shown to be capable, committed and steadfast in moving forward,” Charles-Marcel said.
Charles-Marcel stated they expect the hospital to represent the best of 21st-century healthcare through training and equipping medical students from the undergraduate to graduate levels of training.
“We anticipate that the transition will be smooth. Part of that will be the formation of teams within the hospital, groups learning from us how we envision healthcare but also teams that will teach us the things we don’t know about the community,” Charles-Marcel said.
Starting next week, IHCR will be holding meetings with the hospital staff and by January 2024 meet all stakeholders to work out the details of the transition period which is expected to last for nine months.
Geoffrey Kayonde, the IHCR Chief Executive Officer said that all the hospital staff will be retained and also given improved skills in all departments to ensure the transition process addresses one of the key issues of under-staffing and skills gaps.
Kayonde also said that the transition comes with taking over all the financial problems and debts which the Kibagabaga Hospital has as of the handover date.
Magnifique Paulette, the Hospital Director of Finance and Administration (DAF) said the new partnership and investments will enable the hospital to reduce the time patients spend in queues and seeking CT-Scan, and laboratory tests from other distant hospitals.