Govt. to decrease health care gap between Malé & islands

Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem | Photo: PSM News

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Health Minister Ahmed Naseem has said that the government values equality and aims to provide equal level of health care in Malé and islands, regardless of cost.

Minister Naseem has said this in a speech to celebrate World Health Day. April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day. The theme for World Health Day 2021 is “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone”.

The Minister said in his speech that one lesson learnt from Covid-19 is that diseases do not discriminate, therefore, the health of every individual is equally important.

Minister Naseem said that equality is a significant pillar of the incumbent government’s mandate and the current health care system is built to cater to the medical needs of the public regardless of location across the country.

It is a costly, challenging process. However, this government aims to minimize the gap in health care between regions of Maldives, and reduce the instances where people have to travel to [capital city] Malé to access health care.

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem

Maldives aims to implement Primary Health Care across the country, where health care is provided at island level, focused on prevention, and inclusive of physical, mental health.

The Minister said that five atoll hospitals are not equipped for investigative care and increased in human resources. Minister Naseem also promised ambulances for all islands by June 2021. The Minister was previously questioned about delays in ambulances at the parliament of Maldives.

Primary level health care in Maldives is provided through health posts, health centres, Atoll and Regional hospitals in the islands, and in Male’ city through a separate PHC centre (Dhamanaveshi). Health care services including medical examination, investigations, immunization, antenatal care, drugs etc. are provided free to all Maldivian citizens. However, the delivery of services at primary health centres at rural level is challenged due to the geographic isolation of islands and inadequate human resources, specialties, supplies and equipment and poor management.