Rwanda terminates management contract for referral hospital- sources

Friday April 5 2019

King Faisal Hospital

Rwanda’s biggest national referral King Faisal Hospital. It has terminated a contact with an Angolan-based company. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

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Rwanda’s largest referral hospital, King Faisal Hospital (KFH), has terminated its contract with Angolan private firm Oshen Healthcare, sources familiar with the matter have said.

Multiple sources within government and the hospital say that the firm’s contract was terminated this week over consistent poor services at the referral.

“Government received complaints every day that the services were getting worse. It had reached a level where smaller hospitals were offering better services than KFH...the investment no longer made sense to government because what Oshen was offering did not match our expectations," said a source who requested anonymity.

Oshen Healthcare Rwanda Ltd, a subsidiary of Oshen Group South Africa, signed a management contract with government in February 2017 to manage the referral hospital for a period of five years. It was tasked to upgrade its services and facilities to international standards.

With an initial investment of $23 million, the private firm pledged to equip the 160-bed hospital with modern facilities and recoup its investment within the five years.

The Rwandan government also offered to clear the hospital’s outstanding debt of over $361,000, as an incentive to the investor.

However, two years later, the government has cancelled the deal after the hospital failed to invest, to turn a profit and make the referral hospital a health centre of excellence in East Africa.

The EastAfrican could not independently verify why the government terminated the contract. However, the hospital has been in the news for the wrong reasons since it was handed over to Oshen.

Its pharmacy was constantly under-stocked forcing patients to buy medicines elsewhere.

Doctors and nurses who spoke to The EastAfrican also complained of heavy workload following the retrenchment in 2017 of 70 workers.

The termination of Oshen’s contract comes after President Paul Kagame’s surprise visit to the hospital last week.

President Kagame was visiting a delegation of three MPs from Sierra Leone that had been admitted at the hospital after being involved in a minor car accident.

Oshen also manages Centro Médico Internacional in Luanda and Angola.

Oshen’s performance under the concession in Rwanda is overseen by the Rwanda Development Board.