Rwanda: reducing outbound medical travel

Map of Rwanda

King Faisal Hospital, Kigali plans to offer advanced kidney treatment services from 2022, making it the first hospital to offer such treatments in Rwanda.

The King Faisal Hospital is aiming to become a centre of excellence catering to regional healthcare needs, aligned with the country’s vision of being a hub for medical tourism. It is undergoing a massive upgrade that will see the facility add more bed capacity and specialised services.

Their aim is also to reduce the number of patients who seek transplant services abroad, mainly in India. 30-35 patients go abroad every year.

Other hospitals in Rwanda are also treating medical travellers. Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital attracts patients from other African countries, while Rwanda Military Hospital is being upgraded to attract both domestic and regional African medical tourists.

Clare Akamanzi, CEO of Rwanda Development Board says that Africa loses US$6 billion annually on its citizens travelling abroad for treatment.

The country is making major efforts to stand out as a high-end destination in Africa, and has been heavily promoting tourism and inward investment.

Rwanda gets a few thousand medical tourists a year from Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda