The government of Rwanda has banned the use of cell phones by medical practitioners after it emerged that they get distracted while on duty.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of Health with the directive coming into effect as from March 1, 2017.
It is understood that a number of patients have complained about medical personnel who divert to social media – WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter in most cases thus creating delays in service delivery.
Consequently, the ministry said healthcare providers will be prohibited from using personal phones during working hours to “ensure better service delivery” as from next month.
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.
The health minister said the ministry will now discuss how to implement and enforce the ban.