Healthcare in the Maldives

 

 

During the last three decades, the healthcare system of Maldives has undergone various and exceptional developments, which is attributed to the large investments directed at infrastructure and human resources for health. One solid proof of major progress in the healthcare system is the recent implementation of a universal health insurance in Maldives, which provides coverage to all Maldivian citizens – free of charge.

According to the new healthcare bill called the Aasandha (well-being) Program, which came into effect on January 2012, all Maldivian citizens are entitled to receive government-financed medical coverage of up to 100,000 MVR (US$6,500) a year. Foreign national workers are also beneficiaries of this program. They qualify for medical coverage, provided that their employers pay an upfront fee of 1,000 MVR (US$65). Prior to the inauguration of the health bill, all workers in Maldives were forced to shoulder their own health expenses and medication, which meant paying quite hefty medical bills.

The Aasandha Program is said to be a public-private partnership with an insurance provider, Allied Insurance. The health service will cover emergency treatment, domestic emergency evacuation, inpatient and outpatient services, medicine under prescription, and diagnostic and therapeutic services. The service also includes treatment abroad in case the required medical care is not available in Maldives. While coverage for medical treatment overseas is limited to individuals who earn a high salary, the government said that some government funds will be available to Maldivian families in need.

Maldives has one main hospital and one private hospital. The state hospital, Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, is located in Male and provides both general and specialty health care services for every citizen of the country. IGMH is equipped with 275 beds and offers major surgeries and advanced diagnostic testing to the public. Meanwhile, the private medical institution ADK Private Hospital also provides health services that are of superior quality, but for a high price.

Due to the significant progress in the healthcare system of Maldives, the capital island of each atoll now has a government hospital, or at the very least, a health center which will attend to the medical needs of every island inhabitant. However, all those who suffer from a serious medical illness or need advanced medical services will be required to go to the capital city, Male, or evacuated to Colombo or Singapore.

As part of the public health program in Maldives, the government conducts health promotion and education for all Maldivian citizens. These include education and promotion in areas like family planning, safe maternity, reproductive health, childhood immunization, nutrition and healthy lifestyle, non-communicable diseases, prevention of substance abuse, thalassemia, and children and women’s safety.

Emergency Numbers

Below are the numbers that can be contacted in case of an emergency in Maldives:

• Ambulance: 102

• Fire Department: 118

• Maldives Police Service: 119

 

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