Special ambulance service agency to be established

Ambulance in Malé city | Photo: HPA

Malé, Maldives — Health Minister of Maldives, Ahmed Naseem stated on Tuesday that the ministry commenced work to establish a special ambulance service agency in the country.

Minister Naseem made the statement after being summoned to the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Gender to respond to questions over the death of a 10 year old girl who succummed to the COVID19 virus following multiple instances of negligence from the relevant authorities – including a delay in ambulance response time of approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes.

In reality, a separate agency for ambulance services need to be established. Health Ministry cannot do it, but I am currently working on establishing such an association.

Health Minister, Ahmed Naseem

Minister Naseem further revealed that discussions were held with the Finance Ministry regarding the necessity of establishing a special mmbulance service agency; its use and how that correlates with the country’s present-day health circumstances.

According to Minister Naseem, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer had expressed his agreement on the plans to establish a separate agency.

In addition, the health minister stated that the agency should house a special independent unit, one that does not operate according to business interests but that fuctions as an entity that will provide services for the people.

At the beginning of June, an agreement was signed between the Ministries of Health, Finance and the State Trading Organization (STO), which involved acquiring 96 ambulances to serve needs across the archipelago, as in Minister Naseem’s words, “the bringing of such ambulances would expand ambulance services within the islands, thus ending [one of the] major issues faced by people living in these islands”.

He also added that although the service was crucial for every island, even at present, some islands do not even have ambulances, while several others that have ambulances do not have the mechanisms required for a proper implementation of services, all of which present severe obstacles to assuring safety for local citizens.

Expanding the ambulance services in the islands will assist in improving the health sector of the country.

Health Minister, Ahmed Naseem

Speaking at a press conference held earlier this year, Minister Naseem assured that with the new steps they have decided to take, the Covid-19 response system would function much better than it has demonstrated thus far.