Health & Protection in Maldives
Relocating to Maldives will need the same level of attention to details than relocating to a big urban city, and this starts with understanding what your employer is providing in terms of benefits and what you will need to secure on the side by yourself. Health care and insurance sometimes get shoved under the surface because many believe that it is not a priority. Well, not yet. Maldives, as many people refer to, is a paradise on earth when it gets to the five star resorts but not in every way if it is your work destination. Its pristine beaches, white sand, warm climate and abundant supply of sunshine can sometimes be very mesmerising that most expats undermine the possibility that something might go wrong, especially with their health.
One of the things that require your attention is your health care insurance which is usually a part of any relocation package. If this wasn’t discussed with you or the topic seems to be a bit hazy, it’s best that you talk to the Human Resource Department of your company to have full knowledge on what is included in your coverage. Your company’s affiliate insurance broker should be registered under the list of accredited companies by the Maldives Monetary Authority, the branch of the government that ensures legal compliance of local and international insurance companies that are operating on the island.
The public and private sectors are the two main divisions of health care in Maldives. Currently, there are four insurance providers in the island and it's best to call all of them to know their different types of coverage. Deciding on which broker to get your health care coverage from can be the most tedious part of the process and it will be helpful to do some research on whom among them could meet your needs. AXA PPP International is a worldwide provider of blanket coverage for both expats and their dependents. You can also consider the Allied Insurance Company of the Maldives a local company that provides health, life, business, travel, and third party motor coverage.
Importance of Insurance
Since there are lots of beaches in Maldives, most incidents that require medical attention are related to swimming or diving. Potential danger lies under the sea like coral cuts and stings, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and decompression sickness. Dengue is also a common problem especially during the rainy season and usually, occurs in Maldivian villages. Expats should also be prepared for cases of Diarrhoea, which is caused by the sudden change in climate or food. Drinking rain or tap water in Maldives is also not advisable and has an unpleasant smell.
Of course, no one wants to assume an accident or an emergency, but that is the exact reason why you should have one. First, you are not in your home country. Second, you are new and might have difficulties understanding the local processes and procedures in Maldives, so it’s best that you have a team of professionals standing by your side in the time of utmost need. Health care insurance also covers physical examinations and laboratories, regular check-ups and you can even request for daily vitamins to boost your health as long as you have a prescription from an accredited doctor/physician.
Local Insurance in Maldives
As part of the health care bill, Aasandha (well-being) Program, all Maldivian citizens are entitled to receive free medical assistance, service and treatments. Foreign nationals can also benefit from this program, given that their employers were able to pay the upfront fee of €60 or 1000 MVR. Maldives has two medical facilities: one public, Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and one private, ADK Private Hospital that are both partners of the Aasandha Program.
Some policies do not cover ‘dangerous activities’ such as diving. If you are planning to do this activity, the local government will require you to have a Maldivian diving insurance as part of your medical coverage. As an expat, you can also strongly consider getting an international insurance policy that will cover life, health, travel and many other types of coverage anywhere you are on the island or abroad. These companies are also operating worldwide and have long years of experience providing insurance to expats like you.
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