Healthcare in the Maldives

 

 

During the last three decades, the healthcare system of Maldives has undergone various and exceptional developments. The significant improvements in this sector are attributed to the large investments directed at infrastructure as well as human resources such as doctors and other medical personnel.

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. The current healthcare vision of this country is reflected in the National Vision 2020 whereas the Maldivian government in partnership with the Ministry of Health aim at providing “greater awareness of and commitment to health lifestyle. Good quality medical care will be available to all citizens in the area in which they live, and they will have easy access to a health insurance scheme that will enable them to meet their medical expenses.”

Public Healthcare Scheme

According to the new healthcare bill called the Aasandha (well-being) Program, which came into effect in 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).

Before the inauguration of the health bill, all workers in Maldives were forced to shoulder their 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 treatments
  • Domestic emergency evacuation
  • Inpatient and outpatient services
  • Prescribed medicines
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic services
  • Treatment abroad in case 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 would be available to Maldivian families in need.

Doctors and Medical Services

Maldives has an estimated total of 160 doctors and 445 nurses and midwives per 10,000 people. Most of the inhabited islands in the archipelago have traditional medical practitioners, but recently, reports say that 95% of the live births are now being attended by trained and qualified health staff. Because of Maldives’ geographical location, it has become an accessible destination for doctors from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan so expats will encounter many physicians from the said countries.

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 immunisation, nutrition and healthy lifestyle, non-communicable diseases, prevention of substance abuse, thalassemia, and children and women’s safety.

Hospitals in Maldives

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 speciality 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 so expats should consider getting a private health insurance that'll cover their medical expenses.

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 centre 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.

 

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