Serving the people of Dodoma Rural District
Mvumi Hospital to become a Council Designated Hospital
On 3rd September 2008 the President of Tanzania announced that Mvumi Hospital would become the Council Designated Hospital for the newly formed Chamwino Ikulu District of Central Tanzania. The details of what this would mean were not immediately clear, but essentially will result in the government giving Mvumi a much bigger grant to run the hospital as the Government hospital for the district.
The government will cover nearly all the running costs and will send more staff to Mvumi. The Diocese will still have a majority on an expanded hospital management board which will set policy and the general direction of the hospital which enable them to maintain its ethos as a church hospital. The buildings and equipment will remain Diocesan property. It is anticipated that patient fees will be heavily subsidised and any residual patient fees are likely to be set nationally rather than locally. It is not clear if the hospital will have to feed the patients too.
It is not envisaged that the change in status of the hospital will directly affect the schools (nursing, clinical officers and technicians) based at Mvumi who will still have to charge fees as at present to cover their costs.
The council designated hospital system is working in a lot of other church hospitals across the country and will generally help the people of Mvumi be able to afford medical care. It should also help to put the hospital finances on a more reliable and firm footing and in future they will hardly depend at all on patient fees to cover their normal running costs. In the past much of the money for staff salaries was derived from patient fees and in times of hardship during famine years, income dropped dramatically as the population had no money to pay for medical treatment and the hospital struggled to pay salaries.
The implications for Friends of Mvumi are also somewhat unclear. Some things we do at present, like subsidising drug costs for patients with chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes, will probably not be needed . Also subsidising the costs for mothers having caesarean sections may well no longer be necessary. On the other hand Friends of Mvumi will still be needed to providing funding for capital projects such as any new buildings or major replacements like the X-ray machine we are purchased recently. It is not clear if the Friends of Mvumi will still need to support repairs and replacements of for example the water pump.
The student nurses will continue to need sponsorship. Also we envisage the staff salary top up will need to continue to attract and retain senior qualified staff. So, this will be an exciting time of change and will probably result in a shift of emphasis in FOM’s work.
New X-ray machine installed
The new X-ray machine has now been delivered and installed in a refurbished X-ray suite. The refurbishment included a leaded glass partition to protect the radiology technicians. The new machine has an anatomical menu system – so the technician only has to identify which part of the body he is filming, the size of film etc. and the dose of X-rays is set automatically. In addition there is a fully automated X-ray processor so that the film simply has to be fed in at one end and the completed dry X-ray comes out of the other. This is a great improvement on the old manual system which was performed by dunking the films in some rather old processing baths. All that remains now is to get the final testing and certification from the Radiation Commission. The new X-ray facility will be a huge benefit for the patients and doctors at Mvumi so thank you to all those who contributed to its purchase. It will also help us screen all HIV positive clients for tuberculosis, which is common in these patients. For more pictures see X-ray installation.
CSSC Funded Hospital Renovation
The hospital has been undergoing some major restoration with funding from the Christian Social Services Commission during the last two years.