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A Personal Overview of the Evangelical Medical Centre

Philip & Nancy Wood

With all the challenges the Democratic Republic of Congo faces, CME needs strong leadership and an inspired and holy vision.

Each level of CME’s government needs to understand and assume their responsibilities immediately that a problem appears. We should let things slide for fear of the consequences for the institution, its management or owners. Fortunately we have in the Bible a useful map to guide behavior.

The owners (The General Assembly) should be well informed on the status of its investment by regularly sends reports. Their main job is to appoint the Executive Director (CEO), to fix his salary and appoint members of the Board of Directors.

By their decision in 2008 to establish a Board of the Assembly showed that they want a coordination of CME to be done by specialists: financial experts, legal, commercial, religious, medical, educational, etc.

However both the external analysis of CME (see recommendations Michael Ben Dec. 2011) as well as current experience shows that personnel management must happen in each of the 3 sites. These sites better understand their needs, the defects of the current staff, they receive job applications and is the only place where we can establish a record for each worker with annual assessments. The 3 sites are very different in their environments and their medical needs. Often the internal rules and regulations are not being followed and there is confusion. There are 4 levels that can act but even after 6 months it may be that nothing be done. (The 4 levels 1. The Medical Director of the place 2. His Management Committee 3. The Executive Committee 4. The Executive Direction.) Previous to 2008 it was always the Medical Director with his Executive Committee and Discipline Committee who acted, but now the problems are left to a higher authority with either a period of delay or a worst neglect. For the moment the Executive Committee is very expensive and it seems that they decide little. To improve the management and discipline it could be abolished and the three Managements Committees accept responsibility. Unfortunately the Medical Director may be ineffective or not acting when he thinks that the Executive Branch may act and then he will be criticized for making a decision.

For now the CME has lost the trust and support of foreign agencies who have supported us in the past, except in Nyankunde with Samaritan's Purse, Pain pour le Monde in the ISTM and Friends of CME in Beni. According to Tearfund (UK and Holland) and CBM accounting and financial reporting (or lack thereof) shows a very weak administration. The regaining of that trust will be difficult and require great discipline in following the rules of the institution, the principles of good accounting and of business in all these branches. A quasi independence of the branches under the Board of Directors has enabled a few branches to have preserved a better reputation.

We encourage more communication with these agencies, and our former workers especially those from abroad. They can be a resource of funds and prayer. With modern means of communication this becomes much easier. A weekly prayer letter, an updated website, news and photos are most welcome.

If the CME is to continue its activities there must be a lot more discipline. One example suffices. 3 absences in time for morning prayers used to earn a reprimand. Now only one site registers attendance at prayers.

CME Bunia ISTM: We congratulate Dr. Kirere for the excellent running of this Institute and to the wonderful buildings from "Bread for the World '. It seems that the Institute will gain a second “tranche” of money for the continuation of construction.

CME Bunia Hospital: We are impressed with the team of doctors. They work well together. They have the desire to learn. We are pleased to see Dr. Aime after studies of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Tanzania. The team of nurses is less strong - may be partly because of the delay, even absence, of wages. We are pleased to see several recent efforts of maintenance. Financial stewardship has several shortcomings.

CME Nyankunde: We are pleased that the ITM is currently attracting many new students. The expatriate presence is impressive, partly because of resources provided from abroad. We are glad Nyankunde is willing to share their goods with other sites.

CME Beni: Our week was very well organized. Many patients, an operating room team that worked in harmony - we did not have to wait for sterile packages, even for 11 cases a day. We are very pleased to see the increase in consultations since the return of Dr Justin and Dr. Alene. The hospital was full at Sose. Unfortunately the poor nursing care gave one serious complication.

Conclusions:

  1. A better promotion and discipline of staff to be made by a chief of staff (not necessarily full-time) at each site. At present sites are awaiting the arrival of DIREX or the executive committee, to solve problems.
  2. To regain the confidence of foreign NGOs of the stewardship of the finances must be much stricter and more transparent. Tear Fund will be focused on the DRC in 2017 but for now they are not interested in CME.
  3. CME administration must be revised given the conditions so different between Bunia and Beni Nyankunde. The role of the executive committee and the schedule of DIREX must be examined urgently.

Philip & Nancy Wood Saturday, April 16, 2016