Expat health sector workers now mandated to get approval to leave Maldives

A laparoscopy surgery underway. (Photo/Healthline)

Health Ministry has decided to mandate expatriate workers in the health sector to seek approval from the Ministry before leaving Maldives.

The Ministry had earlier said that they were in discussion with Maldives Immigration regarding measures that can be taken to combat expatriate doctors recruited to work in the Maldives fleeing. State Minister for Health Ahmed Adil, briefing Sun earlier on these discussions, said it was decided expatriate doctors will be mandated to inform their intention to leave Maldives via Health Ministry’s portal, whereas they will only be able to leave after the Ministry grants approval. Back then, he said the decision will be enforced starting January.

In an update on the matter on Sunday, State Minister Adil told Sun that the portal required for the purpose has been developed by the Health Ministry. Therewith, hereafter, Adil said that all expatriate workers in the health sector will need to inform their intention to leave Maldives, and get the Ministry’s approval before they can leave.

“Not only doctors. This policy will be applicable to all expatriate workers in the Maldivian health sector. Hence, none of them can now leave Maldives without the Ministry’s approval,” he said.

Cases of expatriate doctors recruited to work in Maldivian hospitals fleeing without notice surface here and there, as per Health Ministry. State Minister Adil states the new policy will effectively solve this issue.

Most recently, the only surgeon working in Lhaviyani Atoll Hospital, a Cuban man, fled on November 20, after working in the hospital for approximately five months. His departure without prior notice has resulted in the hospital not having a surgeon, disrupting its operations.