Gender Ministry admits failure in managing special needs home in Guraidhoo

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services has admitted to being responsible for the inadequacy in the management of the Home for Persons with Special Needs (HPSN) in K. Guraidhoo.

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRC) and Maldives Parliament have both questioned Gender Ministry regarding the administrative deficiency at HPSN.

HPSN is a care facility for people with mental health issues in state care. Since February 2020 there is no psychiatrist at the home, and from December 2020 there has been no doctor at all. The only available health care professional, a staff nurse, has been on maternity leave from 17 January 2021. Subsequently, patients medical care and treatments are conducted by individuals with no medical background.

Gender Ministry and Finance was questioned by the Maldives Parliament on this issue, with Finance Minister saying that there are no budget issues.

Gender Ministry stated that there is difficulty in finding doctors especially due to Covid-19, The Ministry previously attempted to recruit doctors from resorts that closed down, however, even those doctors were allocated to other parts of the country to manage the pandemic. Gender Ministry says that they attempted to hire doctors for HPSN

… but it was through verbal and written communication. Even I believe that we are responsible… After this long it is not easy to say Gender Ministry couldn’t do it. I believe that we have more work to do.

Aishath Rasheed, State Minister, Maldives Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services

Aishath Rasheed said that the biggest challenge is the disinterest by Maldivian doctors and nurses to work at HPSN. Foreign doctors are available for the position, however, the Ministry faced difficulties in pursuing this recruitment method due to Covid-19. The Ministry cited incomplete job application as the reason.