Medical council speaks out after closure of private hospitals

Medical council speaks out after closure of private hospitals
Medical council speaks out after closure of private hospitals

Africa-Press – Rwanda. Rwanda Medical and Dental Council (RMDC), the regulator for health care professionals, has said that they are closely monitoring developments regarding uncertainties that may arise from the closure of health facilities following a recent crackdown by the health ministry.

The government last month launched a countrywide inspection of private health facilities following a spate of public complaints about the services offered by these hospitals.

The inspection led to the closure of two hospitals; Baho International Hospital which was based in Nyarutarama, Gasabo District and MBC Hospitals in Nyarugenge. At the time, the ministry said that the inspection was still ongoing for other facilities.

Both hospitals were closed over poor quality services offered.

Dr. Jean-Claude Byiringiro, the acting Chairperson of the council told The New Times that their body believed there might be facts and findings highlighting major safety issues which led to temporally suspension or closure of the health facilities.

However, he added that when such decisions are made, there are people who are rendered jobless including members of the council.

“It is important to look at all sides of the coin by also considering risks arising from the temporary suspension or shutdown of such a facility as we also look at the safety of those patients who seek services at such hospitals,” he said.

Byiringiro said that the council plans to conduct further investigation to see if there weren’t any malpractices like medical negligence among medical and dental practitioners from the facilities.

“When we investigate any suspected malpractices and come to find systematic issues, then we always report to the Ministry of Health. We plan to continue doing this and we shall even be more rigorous than probably how it used to be.”

He added that even though they haven’t received any complaint from any side about any of their members suspected of malpractice, the investigation they plan to conduct will give them the way forward.

“We investigate and if we find a person culpable, then we take disciplinary measures against them, including suspension or even indefinite withdrawal of medical practicing license,” he said, adding that their role is to ensure the medical practice is fully trusted by patients.

After the closure of the two hospitals, there was a dilemma among former patients at these facilities, with some wondering if they need to seek another medical opinion.

“People do not have to worry if they did not face any problem after being treated,” he said, adding that however, the audit they will conduct will establish whether there are serious gaps that could allow some diagnostic mistakes.

“In such cases, people may be advised otherwise,” he said.

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