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The East African : Nov 24th 2014
The EastAfrican NEWS NOVEMBER 22-28,2014 PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP BEING EXPLORED Five firms bid for indebted King Faisal Hospital Tu≥ning a≥ound indebted facility could ushe≥ in medical tou≥ism A JOINT REPORT The EastAfrican F ive private firms have expressed an interest in run- ning Rwanda’s biggest public hospital, in partnership with the government. Details of the bids and the na- ture of the offers for King Faisal Hospital (KFH), one of the country’s most indebted institutions, are however scanty. “I do not think it is the right time to talk about it,” said Hubert Ruzibiza, head of the Services Unit at Rwanda Development Board, which is handling the bidding. “We shall inform you when the process is concluded.” However, sources in the Min- istry of Health told The EastAfrican that the government was seeking a public-private partnership through which it would cede management to a private operator in exchange for investment capital and better corporate governance. For instance, the latest Audi- tor-General’s Report, which was released early this year, revealed that since it became autonomous in March 2013, KFH has been operating without a board of directors. A board is necessary for provision of overall stewardship A surgery in progress at King Faisal Hospital. Picture: File for the hospital and oversight over the business and its day-today management. In addition, the AG found out that all the senior managers at the hospital were in acting positions. While the privatisation could The government believes in privatepublic partnerships.” Nathan Mugume save the taxpayer billions of francs in form of government subsidies, it could also usher in a regime of even more expensive medical services for the average Rwandan at the health facility. It could also improve the li- quidity position of the hospital, which is struggling to meet its working capital needs despite a heavy government subsidy. For example, although the government pumped in Rwf3 billion ($4 million) in 2012/13, the hospital still had a funding shortfall of Rwf331.5 million ($480,091). As of June 2013, it had accumulated Rwf4 billion ($5.9 million) in losses, according to the AG’s report. As of April, the 160-bed hospi- tal, which attracts 300 patients daily, had an outstanding debt of Rwf822 million ($1.2 million) dating from June 2012. High hopes in PPP Therefore, the search for pri- vate partners highlights the hospital’s inability to generate sufficient funds for daily operations and to meet its obligations. Failure to settle liabilities within the agreed time could damage the hospital’s relationships with its suppliers and affect service delivery. Such SKILLS FLIGHT Jean Chrysostome Nyirinkwaya, one of the country’s foremost obstetricgynecologists, quit a government job to start his own health facility, La Croix Du Sud Hospital. Today, he is giving government a run for its money as he is very popular among mothers. When Algarwal opened its eye hospital in Rwanda, one of the country’s best eye specialists left KFH to join the new institution. long-outstanding balances can also be used to perpetrate fraud. Besides, its inability to recover debts on time is a matter of concern among experts. As of June 30 last year, its debts amounted to Rwf299 million ($433). There are hopes that, under a private management, KFH will improve service delivery, which is likely to attract patients who have been seeking medical services in neighbouring countries and abroad. The deal, according to a Health Ministry official, comes at a time when the government has intensified a privatisation campaign either through outright pulling out of the business or through PPPs. “The government believes in private-public partnerships, which come with quality services delivery,” said Nathan Mugume, head of the Rwandan Health Communication Centre. One of the tasks ahead for the new investors is to turn around the hospital to make it attractive to Rwandans who have been seeking medical services abroad and hence incurring higher medical bills. It will also be able to attract patients from around the region as Rwanda seeks to become a medical tourism hub. Human capital This will mean introducing state-of-the-art equipment for operations and surgery and also recruiting more specialists. Internally, the new investor will have to come up with attractive packages for the specialists, who are torn between their private clinics and seeking greener pastures. Over time, there has been a high turnover of human capital, partly because the specialists are leaving the hospital to start their own businesses or look for jobs elsewhere. Reported by John Gahamanyi and Kabona Esiara 3 CALL FOR CONSULTANTS Swisscontact is looking to expand its roster of consultants for a range of potential short and long term assignments on various programs across Central, East and Southern Africa. BACKGROUND Swisscontact is an independent foundation involved in international development cooperation running its own and mandated projects. Our focus is on four core areas of private sector promotion:- Skills Development: we enable access to the labor market and create conditions for gaining employment and earning an income. SME Promotion: we promote local entrepreneurship with the goal of strengthening its competitiveness. Financial Services: we promote access to local financial service providers offering credit, savings, leasing and insurance products. Resource Efficiency: we promote the efficient use of resources through production methods that are efficient in their use of energy and materials and through taking measures to promote clean air and sustainable waste disposal. TO APPLY Qualified consultants are requested to send their cvs/profiles including three technical references to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5th December 2014. We will only contact eligible candidates/firms to further discuss their availability. Please no phone calls. Swisscontact is an equal opportunity employer. To learn more about Swisscontact, visit our website www.swisscontact.org. On 26th November your copy of the Daily Nation... Kenyatta University Invites Applications for Postgraduate Programmes beginning January 2015 from qualified applicants for the Programmes which will be offered under in various campuses, under Full – Time, Evening & Weekend mode of study in the Academic Year 2014/2015, beginning January, 2015.
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