Local doctors were hired before seeking Indian doctors: Health Ministry

Spokesperson of the Presidents Office, Mohamed Mabrook Azeez | Photo: HEOC

Male’, Maldives— The Health Ministry of Maldives has stated that the announcement seeking doctors from India was only posted after the Ministry had hired local doctors and still needed more to help with the pandemic.

The statement from the Health Ministry comes after the Ministry announced job opportunities for 520 medical professionals in six categories from an Indian recruitment agency, Norka Roots in March.

For these experts, the Health Ministry offered a monthly pay of USD 2,939 (MVR 45,319) for consultants, USD 1,514 (MVR 23,345) for dentists and medical officers, USD 953 (MVR 14,695) for nurses, and USD 720 (MVR 11,102) for radiographers and physiotherapists.

However, the Health Ministry had announced this May asking local medical professionals to volunteer their services for the national COVID-19 response efforts.

Criticism followed after the decision was announced, questing the Ministry as to why foreign medical professionals are being recruited with large pays, while they, who have the same qualifications, are being asked to volunteer their services for free.

The concerns of the citizens were addressed during the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC)’s press conference held ono Saturday night, where the spokesperson of the President of Maldives, Mabrook Azeez cleared that the job vacancy announcement posted in Norka Roots was under an agreement signed between Health Ministry and Norka Roots and that it is not related to the national COVID-19 response efforts but an effort of the Health Ministry’s to recruit doctors for Maldivian hospitals.

Despite this, Mabrook informed that the job vacancy was only announced after the Ministry had provided jobs for the local doctors who had responded and applied for jobs on an announcement made by the Ministry to recruit Maldivian doctors on February 3.

Announcement for more doctors from India were made because the Maldivian health facilities are still in need of more doctors, stated Mabrook.

Speaking about the announcement asking locals to volunteer in Covid-19 response, Mabrook stated that the reason for this announcement was as there were fulltime doctors who wished to volunteer their services on their personal time.

Spokesperson of the Presidents Office, Mabrouq has previously revealed at the press conference that the Heath Ministry and Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) are together working on creating a one-year contract to recruit local doctors to IGMH.