Costs Associated With Surgical Infections at a Tertiary Referral Hospital in Rwanda

Jean Bosco Katabogama, Christophe Mpirimbanyi, Thierry Cyuzuzo, Vital Muvunyi, Christian Urimubabo, Jennifer Rickard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: In low-income and middle-income countries, there is a high demand for surgical care, although many individuals lack access due to its affordability, availability, and accessibility. Costs are an important metric in healthcare and can influence healthcare access and outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine the financial impact of infections in acute care surgery patients and factors associated with inability to pay the hospital bill at a Rwandan referral hospital. Materials and methods: This was a prospective observational study of acute care surgery patients at a tertiary referral hospital in Rwanda with infections. Data were collected on demographics, clinical features, hospital charges, and expenses. Factors associated with inability to pay the hospital bill were analyzed using Chi-squared and Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Results: Over 14 mo, 191 acute care surgery patients with infections were enrolled. Most (n = 174, 91%) patients had health insurance. Median total hospital charges were 414.24 United States Dollars (interquartile range [IQR]: 268.20, 797.48) and median patient charges were 41.53 USD (IQR: 17.15, 103.09). At discharge, 53 (28%) patients were unable to pay their hospital bill. On a univariate analysis actors associated with inability to pay the bill included transportation via ambulance, occupation as a farmer, diagnosis, complications, surgical site infection, and length of hospital stay. On a multivariable analysis, intestinal obstruction (adjusted odds ratio 4.56, 95% confidence interval 1.16, 17.95, P value 0.030) and length of hospital stay more than 7 d (adjusted odds ratio 2.95, 95% confidence interval 1.04, 8.34, P value 0.042) were associated with inability to pay the final hospital bill. Conclusions: Although there is broad availability of health insurance in Rwanda, hospital charges and other expenses remain a financial burden for many patients seeking surgical care. Further innovative efforts are needed to mitigate expenses and minimize financial risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume280
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This funding was supported through departmental funds from the University of Minnesota Department of Surgery. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Funding Information:
Research Electronic Data Capture (RedCap) use was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences , grant UL1TR002494 . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Cost
  • Global surgery
  • Infections
  • Rwanda

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study

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