Deposit requirement for road accident victims to hospital suspended

Burundi Public Health Ministry has instructed all hospitals not to ask victims of road accidents to pay deposit before their treatment saying it should be paid 48 hours after their admission to hospital.

From now on, victims of road accidents will pay the deposit after three days after admission to hospital

Jean Bosco Girukwishaka, Spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health says the measure has been taken because victims of road accidents were considered like other patients.

“When an accident occurred and the victim didn’t have money required before treatment or admission, it was not easy for them to be treated”, says Girukwishaka.
He also says the measure will help health officials in differentiating road accident victims from other patients.

Jean Bosco Girukwishaka says the ministry has already noticed that there are some challenges the sector is faced with. Relatives and friends will therefore get some time to gather the necessary amount for the treatment of the victim within three days.

“It happens that some hospitals ask for the deposit immediately or a day after the admission of the victims whereas they have not yet recovered”, he says.

The Public Health Spokesman calls upon all directors of hospitals to respect the measure. “We are aware that some hospitals ask for the money before treatment for financial reason. Some patients do not pay the required amount after treatment”, he says.

Nixon Habonimana, chairman of the road safety observatory says it is a relief for the victims of road accidents. “Not all the people move with money when accidents occur. Some people fear to assist victims of the road accidents due to the requirement of the deposit”, he says.

Mr. Habonimana says it was regrettable hearing that health officials ask for money before treating the victims. He, however, says there are some concerns regarding the decision. “We don’t know if the measure concerns all hospitals including private ones”, he says.

He urges all health officials to respect the measure. “Competent authorities should take sanctions against hospitals which will not abide by the decision”, he says.

From September 2018 to January 2019, the ministry of public security recorded 1054 cases of road accidents in which 108 people were killed and another 832 injured.