IGMH nurses face retaliation after petition against ER in-charge

Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), the biggest government hospital in Maldives, has taken action against dozens of nurses who signed a petition expressing concern over ill treatment from the hospital’s ER in-charge.

Sun has received a copy of the petition signed by 32 local nurses, expressing concern over a number of issues, including getting forced to work despite being sick, mismanagement, and ill treatment of staff.


Some of the nurses who signed the petition, who spoke to Sun on condition of anonymity, said the policy for taking sick leave was unnecessary strict.

“We need to directly call the in-charge no matter what time it is. Text messages aren’t acceptable. We cannot inform anyone else. Its also in violation of civil service regulations,” said one nurse.

The nurses said that even if they call the in-charge to request sick leave, they are granted leave only if the in-charge believes them to be actually sick. Sometimes, nurses are told they wouldn’t be granted sick leave unless they go to IGMH and submit a doctor’s note.

“Because of this, some nurses have worked shifts while suffering from high fever. Some pregnant nurses have also taken shifts despite being severely ill,” said one nurse.

According to the nurses, one pregnant nurse was denied sick leave despite submitting a doctor’s note as instructed.

“We are told pregnancy isn’t an illness. That we can work shifts. Its our right to take sick leave when we are unwell. But that right was stolen,” said one nurse.

They said three nurses suffered miscarriages having to work so hard during their pregnancy.

The nurses said that they are also forced to disclose extremely private information when requesting leave, and complained of lack of confidentiality.

The nurses said it was common for them to be forced to work even when on annual leave.


The nurses raised concern that they are made to do some of the work the in-charge is responsible for, such as preparing the annual report. They said that other staff were also made to work on performance appraisals, resulting in lack of confidentiality.

They also said that nurses and attendants are publicly belittled and humiliated.

“She has used very vile language before all staff and even patients. She especially belittles attendants,” said one nurse.

The nurses said that the in-charge had refused to pay COVID-19 allowance to attendants by insisting that they were not entitled to it, and that attendants were eventually paid the allowance following pressure from other nurses in the department.

The nurses said that funds the nurses themselves raised to celebrate various occasions had been put on hold following the petition.

“We were last told there was MVR 30,000 in that fund. The money is reportedly now in a drawer in the in-charge’s cabin. But we haven’t seen this “drawer” despite going in and out of that cabin each day,” said one nurse.


The nurses who signed the petition said the in-charged involved in the case was now on annual leave. They said that though she was under investigation, the management had yet to take any action against her.

“We received a message on July 25 that we were being transferred from the department and getting shuffled. The people who signed the petition are being penalized,” said one nurse.

The nurses said that when they raised concern over the decision with the nurse’s department, they were told the decision had been made long back and had nothing to do with the petition.

However, it is only the nurses who signed the petition being told they are being shuffled, they said.

“This is what the nurse’s department always does. In response to the slightest issue, staff are transferred out to various places as a punishment,” said one nurse.

The nurses said they were ridiculed when they approached the heads of the nurse’s department requesting them not to transfer out the senior nurses in ER.

“When we went to the department people pleading with them not to transfer out nurses in shift in-charge level, that it will be damaging to the ER, they laughed and ridiculed us,” said one nurse.

According to the nurses, many had left IGMH and moved to other hospitals, unable to tolerate the ill treatment.

“Many nurses have moved to other hospitals unable to tolerate all this. [The in-charge] says its not a problem, that they’d bring in nurses from India,” said one nurse.

The nurses said they had also raised concerns highlighted in the petition with other relevant state institutions.

IGMH’s management was not immediately available for comment regarding the issue.