Rwanda medics banned from using cell phones on duty

KIGALI – Rwanda has banned the use of cell phones by medical workers while on duty in order to speed up healthcare service delivery to patients, the ministry of health has announced.

The ministry has directed that effective March 1, 2017, healthcare providers will be prohibited from using personal phones during working hours to “ensure better service delivery”.

It made the decision to implement the policy after officials agreed that speaking for long on personal phones affects service delivery in the health sector,

Speaking to Xinhua on Friday, Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister for Health, confirmed the development saying that the use of cell phones by medical workers on duty was a challenge to improved healthcare services to patients.

“The ban applies to all health facilities during working hours. Patients have been complaining of medical workers who spend a lot of time on phone calls while on duty forcing patients to wait for long,” she noted.

Gashumba stated that healthcare facilities will be fitted with office telephones for staff to use related to the care of patients and other emergencies.

She said the ministry will now discuss how to implement and enforce the ban.

This directive will affect all healthcare professionals in the country, and it is part of policies the government is developing to optimize better service delivery.

Rwanda targets to improve service delivery to 80 percent by 2017.

Source: Angola Press News Agency