President Solih: Development of new hospitals in 12 islands to commence this year

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Photo/President's Office)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday, has stated that physical works on the development of new hospitals at 12 islands will commence within this year.

President Solih made the remark whilst delivering the annual presidential address at the opening sitting of the Parliament for the year 2022.

In this regard, the President said that it is now pointless to accord blame for the arduous and heartbreaking practice of residents from the outer atolls being forced to travel to Malé City for basic health needs.

He also noted that begging the wealthy to have prescriptions filled has become a thing of the past – attributing the achievement to the rights things done at the right time.

President Solih stressed that many efforts were underway to improve healthcare atolls – adding that additional projects in this view have been planned for the future as well. On this note, he disclosed information on efforts to develop tertiary-level hospitals in the five regions in the country – which already provides CT, mobile ultra sound scans and laboratory services.

He also detailed that MRI service and recognition and treatment of cardiovascular diseases have been established at the northern and southern provinces of the country. Moreover, four of the five hospitals also provide comprehensive dental care services.

The five hospitals are the regional hospitals in HDh. Kulhudhuffushi, R. Ungoofaaru, L Gan, Dr. Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital in GDh, Thinadhoo, and Addu Equatorial Hospital.

“The next step is improving and strengthening these developments. Construction work of hospitals comprising 100 beds will begin in Kulhudhuffushi, Gan and Thinadhoo. In addition to this, construction of 7 50-bed Atoll Hospitals and hospitals comprising 30 beds in 12 other islands will begin this year,” he had said.

President Solih also disclosed the government’s plan to reintroduce primary healthcare in the Maldives through a decentralized system. In this regard, a public healthcare portal has been introduced in 58 inhabited islands. He also added that the legal structure to ensure a national primary healthcare infrastructure will be submitted to the Parliament within this year.

Stressing the importance of mental healthcare within atolls, President Solih highlighted that psychiatry services are not available in five atolls in the Maldives. He also revealed that the in-patient care unit of the Centre for Mental Health established in Male’ City is set to be completed this April.

President Solih also said that his government will provide fully operational ambulances to 96 islands which currently have inadequate ambulance services. He noted that 42 ambulances had already been sent – adding that the rest is planned to be provided before the end of March.