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Mystery surrounds Healthy Ministry,Clinton foundation post graduate program

This post has already been read 3356 times!

By Robert Mugabe

newsdesk@greatlakesvoice.com

President Kagame’s effort to lure Bill Clinton foundation to support Rwanda’s physicians to get enrolled in the post graduate studies in various disciplines at Rwanda National University of Rwanda and other referral hospitals is facing criticism from beneficiaries.

The program is a part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed July 21, 2012 between the Ministry of Health and some of the leading nursing and medical institutions in the United States to facilitate the implementation of the Human Resources for Health Program (HRHP) in Rwanda.

Though Health Minister, Agnes Binagwaho, accepts that this program is special of its kind and enrolls 84 physicians but facilitated as other resident courses. “More than 100 medical experts from United States are in the country and ready to begin the training on Monday,” Binagwaho said.

However, local doctors to attend the specialized post graduate course say Health Ministry is hiding something from them mainly concerning their monthly facilitation.

“We shall be studying in class; taking part of mentorship program also we shall be doing our daily routine job for the four years. Yet facilitation fee is not defined in the contracts we are signing with Ministry of health, this raises a lot of worry on our families,” A surgeon who’s to attend the course said.

Bill Clinton, during his visit to Rwanda recently, announced the plan to have the US Universities partner with Rwanda as a way of addressing the problem of lack of trained human resource in Rwanda’s health sector

Clinton’s foundation in partnership with some American Universities are to run the program aimed to help Rwanda get a good number of specialized doctors in a project which will last for the period of seven (7) years.

The program will be bringing more than 90 American physicians, nurses, and health managers to Rwanda in 2012 to build student education and advanced training programs across ten priority specialties and delivery areas.

Priority areas are: internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, pathology, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, nursing and midwifery, global health delivery, and health management. The vast majority of medical professionals will work full-time in Rwanda for spans of at least eleven months each.

Our sources in the ministry, say that Clinton foundation, Global fund and other health partners has availed $2000 for every physicians going under this program as facilitation and motivating fees. Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho, has announced that the physicians get RWF 400,000 like

The decision has sparked protests from physicians who are to begin the program, saying healthy Ministry is suppressing their rights.

“We’re still to decide on their allowances. We’re still looking to the budget since this is a big project that needs a big project. Again, this physicians should understand that they are going under post graduate program without paying a single penny,” Arthur Asiimwe, Director General of Biomedical Communication said

The eighty doctors have no enough information regarding the program and the type of the facilitation contract to be signed.

“We’re to begin the program by Monday. But as we speak, nobody has clear image on what is at the curriculum, benefits, and any other relevant. We have been signing the contract to join the program, will a lot of what we need to do but no word like facilitation money is the contract,” this source said

 

This post has already been read 3356 times!

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Arthur Asiimwe

    September 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Editor,

    Thank you for your story. However, it contains some irregularities that i wish to make a few clarifications on.

    1) This program is part of the normal residency program that has always been offered by the Faculty of Medicine of NUR. The only difference now, is that it has been empowered with the HRH initiative that is bringing close to 100 Faculty professors from different US universities. Therefore because of this increased number of professors, we are now able to train more physicians in different areas of specialization. Just like the normal residency program, Physicians who are enrolling will continue to receive their facilitation equivalent to what a Doctor at a Referral hospital earns. This money is already catered for under the National Domestic Budget and will be availed every month.

    2) The $2000 mentioned in the story is not money for individual students going into their pockets. It’s facilitation money for the entire program to cater for different expenses. It budgeted money to cater for expenses like travel and accommodation while away from their station for clinical work or research work. Its budgeted funds for buying some equipment or attending attending international scientific forums. Since the Faculty members from the US will be moving from one hospital to another, these funds will also cater from travel and accommodation allowances.

    3) The Contract signed with the Ministry of Health is a retention contract and not a remuneration contract. Meaning that since government will spend millions in educating the physicians to become specialists, its important that they spend at least 5 years working for government before they can venture elsewhere. This is policy of the Government of Rwanda for any student sponsored by Government.

    4) The Clinton Health Access Initiative have been our partners in helping sensitize this HRH initiative within US universities. They have been instrumental in mobilizing the faculty members from different universities in the US to take up this program and have also helped in designing the MoU with these faculty members. That’s the kind of role they have played. The rest is done by the Government of Rwanda.

    Thank-you

    • editor

      September 15, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      Dear Arthur, thank you very much for your time and commenting to this article. we’re great full. hope we can talk to you any time about some details if you like.
      Editor

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