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PM Murekezi assures quick solution to medics’ salary claims

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The government of Rwanda says medical service providers’ salaries will soon be increased and that the establishment of small cooperatives is in pipeline so that they can apply loans at a very low interest to boost service delivery issues that have long been voiced in medical sector where nurses and midwives leave their workplaces for their own businesses, while others appear to provide poor services. Some also prefer to work abroad while others make rude circulations in different health centers. You can even see others out of address.

Minister Murekezi said this while speaking at the Parliament on April 4th 2017, while launching the government policy implementation report in health sector.

In the report, Murekezi said, “the Ministry of Health is going to promote its employees marginally according to the public service general status where their salaries will be increased while the PBF delivery is also going to be improved.”

Although there are no figures highlighting how much the salary for medical service providers will be increased, Minister Murekezi said increasing their salaries will reduce nurses and midwives’ exodus temptations, as they were shifting from their workplaces to find well paid jobs while others would leave the country to find jobs at the international markets.

He also hopes that this will no doubt boost improved service delivery towards their customers due a satisfactory salary.

Rwanda still has a big number of medical students who prefer to go abroad to pursue their medical studies as they are given good salaries after graduation, resulting to being tempted to stay abroad and forget about returning to share their skills with local medical graduates to help them improve medical services.

Reacting to this issue, different members of Parliament that a follow needs to be done on these international graduates who stay abroad and serve foreign country with medical services while the government has spent a lot on them to facilitate them successfully pursue their studies.

Honorable Deputy Eduard Bamporiki said, “Those who get government scholarships to study abroad and prefer to stay there, as well as those who study in the country on the government’s support, isn’t there any strategy to make a follow up on them and pay something in return?”

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But, what most of the members of parliament understand in common is that the salary given to medical service providers is still a concern, leading them to providing poor services while others prefer to go and the health sector remain with those who are incompetent.

Murkezi has, however, said that the solution on the issue is being studied with kind attention.

He said, “There is an issue of nurses and midwives who like to leave their jobs form public hospitals and go elsewhere. So, we also need to find a way to keep them. For instance, among medical specialists who were studied on the government’s support during the last years, 35 of 218, corresponding to 16 per cent, have left and gone to work abroad, and this resulted to regular shortage of medical health while those who are around still demand salary increase”

He added that, besides the salary increase and creating financial cooperatives for them, the government has stepped up efforts to train local medical specialists where the Ministry trains at least 70 doctors in specialization every year.

The government is also planning to put more efforts in creating strong collaboration between private and public health institutions by training their respective employees about improved service delivery in order to address the issue of poor service being voiced in levels of health sector.

It has long been claimed that the case of poor service delivery in health sector is taking another shape due to incompetence among health service providers, insufficient equipments and medical service providers’ day after day salary increase claims, which the government says it getting addressed soon.

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@Fred Irakoze

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