Rwanda Health Insurance
This short guide provides information about healthcare and health insurance in Rwanda for those planning to move or travel to Rwanda. Read on to learn more, or click below to obtain a no-obligation, free quote.
Rwanda healthcare system
With 92 % of Rwanda citizens covered by the nation’s health insurance scheme, its insurance system is celebrated as one of the most successful in the world. At a premium of USD $8 a year, the Rwandan health insurance scheme provides basic health services such as maternity care, and treatment for the most common causes of death, such as diarrhea, malnutrition, malaria, infections, and pneumonia. In addition, most health centers have medicines that are on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of essential medicines. Some even have diagnostic laboratories for blood and urine analysis. The country currently operates a well-functioning, decentralized healthcare public service system comprising of 1700 health posts, 500 health centers, 42 district hospitals, and 5 national referral hospitals.
Rwandan health facilities can mostly provide basic medical services; the buildings often lack basic necessities such as running water and electricity. Often, medical facilities do not have sufficient personnel to run the center. In addition, more complicated treatment and diagnostic methods, such as MRI and CAT scans are not widely available. More serious illnesses such as cancer, strokes, and heart diseases might be hard to treat in the country. General surgery is available, but with the lack of physicians, the wait time can last from weeks to months.
Hospitals in Rwanda
There are four national referral hospitals in Rwanda: the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Butare, King Faisal Hospital, and the Rwanda Military Hospital. The most advanced of them is King Faisal Hospital, which, although a private facility, participates in the national health insurance system and therefore accepts patients referred to it by other hospitals and clinics. It is the most advanced hospital in Rwanda, equipped with a CT and MRI machine, two dialysis machines, and a wide range of surgical capabilities.
There is one cancer treatment center in the country, located at Butaro Hospital, which offers an almost full spectrum of cancer treatment, providing services such as screening, diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, palliative care, and a pathology laboratory, with those in need of radiology services being referred to Mulago Hospital in Uganda.
Patients, who are in a more urgent need for surgical treatment, may be transported to areas where there are teams of visiting doctors from other countries. In rare cases, the government may also pay to have patients transported to nearby countries with more advanced medical facilities and surgeons to receive treatment.
Does Rwanda have free healthcare?
The poorest citizens of Rwanda are entitled to free health insurance while the wealthiest are paying premiums of USD $8 per adult per year. About 53 percent of funding for health expenditures comes from foreign aid, as the annual maximum premium of USD $8 for health insurance is insufficient to cover all the costs. Health facilities in this category are included in the public health insurance system, follow all public legislation, and standards are set out by the central government.
Rwanda private healthcare
Rwanda also has a private medical industry that has been steadily growing since 1994. Rwanda’s private health services sector comprises of 2 general hospitals, 1 eye hospital, 1 eye clinic, 50 clinics and polyclinics, 8 dental clinics, 4 eye clinics, and 134 dispensaries, with over 50 percent of which operate near or in the capital of Kigali.
Rwanda travel and health insurance advice
While Lesotho’s healthcare infrastructure and healthcare system are extensive, medical facilities are considered basic in comparison to western standards. Travelers and expatriates in Rwanda should purchase an international health insurance policy before arriving in Rwanda. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that travelers take out a policy that covers emergency evacuation and transportation costs. In the event that you are seriously injured, transportation costs to the nearest medical center of excellence outside of Rwanda can cost as much as USD $100,000.
Travelers visiting the country should get vaccinated against yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, tetanus-diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, and meningococcus. In addition, malaria is prevalent throughout Rwanda, so visitors need to carry anti-malarial medicine, sleep within bed nets, and use insect repellent. Always bring adequate supplies of personal prescription medicine and a doctor’s note for these prescriptions. It is also recommended that travelers bring diarrhea medicine, as diarrhea is a common ailment of travelers in this part of the world.
Furthermore, Rwanda has a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection rate of 3.1 percent. This is higher than the international average but lower than most Sub-Saharan countries. Nevertheless, travelers should be cautious when engaging in activities that can increase the risk of acquiring the infection.
Pacific Prime can assist you with obtaining Rwanda health insurance, or travel insurance should you decide to travel to Rwanda. We offer professional advice at no cost to you. No matter what your budget is or what your requirements are, our professional consultants can help find a locally compliant policy that fits you, family or your group. Our policies can cover a wide range of services including dental, maternity, specialist consultation, transportation, inpatient services, and many more. Please contact us today for a free consultation.