REACHING GREATER HEIGHTS

Mozambique 2016 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Dr. João M. Carvalho Fumane, Director General of Hospital Central de Maputo (HCM), about the range of services on offer and what is being done to further excellence in the health sector

 Dr. João M. Carvalho Fumane
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Fumane was born in Quelimane in the Zambezia Province. He moved to Maputo to study in 1983 and completed his studies in medicine at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane. Between 1990 and 1996 he worked in Tete Province before returning to Maputo. He has been Director General of HCM for four years.

Can you give us a brief outline of the hospital's facilities?

HCM is a public hospital that will celebrate its 110th anniversary in 2016. We have 1,500 beds, 3,700 staff members, and provide almost all of the main specialties across seven different departments. We have three emergency services, one of them dedicated to adult trauma casualties and a second one for pediatrics. The third service is for problems related to gynecology. Our other departments cover the main medical specialties, with four general wards and additional areas for cardiology, neurology, psychiatry, oncology, gastroenterology, dermatology, and nutrition. We also have surgery that combines general surgery with cardiothoracic surgery. We have neurosurgery, ENT surgery, facial surgery, and pediatrics surgery, which is a combination of surgery and pediatrics. We then have pediatrics linked with a range of other specialties. We have four units, mostly general orthopedics, and most of our patients have suffered physical trauma. Finally, we have two ICUs, one for adults and the other for children. Our hospital has radiology, one MRI, one CT scan, three digital X-rays, and six ultrasounds. We also have a top-tier laboratory facility, where most of the diagnoses are carried out using different techniques. We have one pathology center, and we have started the process in our radiology laboratory to carry out our assurance program in order to be accredited as a reference center. Apart from the clinical area, we also have the supportive area and have an administrative area that deals with administrative responsibilities.

What department is the busiest and uses the most hospital resources?

Surgery and orthopedics are resource-intensive, because most of the components are quite expensive for these services. The medicines themselves are expensive, as is the running of the laboratories to deal with test results and data processing. Hemodialysis is costly, and we operate three of these systems.

HCM has been operating for 110 years. What are your key strategies and investments for the future?

In the future, we would like to be a comprehensive center of medical excellence. We want to provide comprehensive healthcare for the people of Mozambique. That means regularly investing not only in equipment, but also in training our staff so that we can be self-sufficient and work to solve the main health problems facing the country. We are a referral hospital, meaning usually the patient has to come through the system to be served by the hospitals. This is the normal approach. We play an important role because there is no other organization as capable as our own, eeither in the public sector or the private one.

What is your assessment of the use of new technologies in the health sector in Mozambique?

Increasingly complex technological solutions are crucial for providing modern healthcare services. We have advanced technology and equipment available in our labs, which is necessary for providing accurate diagnoses and cures. For example, we treat malignant tumors with the aid of such technology, and in neurology it is almost impossible to do something of quality without a strong support system. The aim of our investment strategy is to facilitate the workload of physicians and to decrease the length of hospitalization for patients. We are investing heavily in laparoscopic surgery also, and this would allow patients to leave the hospital after just one day. Traditional surgery would require them to remain for five to six days. With improved technology we can balance our resources in a more efficient manner.

What is the current level of healthcare training at universities in Mozambique?

Providing technical support for training in most of the universities is one of our most important roles. We also have our school of paramedics, as well as a private school of medicine that uses our campus for staff training. In addition, we have a postgraduate program for doctors, with 250 physicians who are doing their medical residence here to later become specialists.