Aasandha spending hit MVR 838 mil in Q1-2024

Aasandha office.

Aasandha, the government-initiated health insurance service, has spent MVR 838 million during the first quarter of 2024.

Statistics revealed by Aasandha on Sunday, showed the state has spent the total as of March 31st, 2024, which is a 4.8 percent increment compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

The first quarter expenditure blocked in 2023 for Aasandha reached MVR 799 million.

While the expenditure increased, Aasandha serviced comparatively more individuals during this year's quarter. The health insurance service catered to 276,439 individuals during Q1-2024 compared to the 273,434 serviced in the same quarter last year.

Additionally, Aasandha reports transporting 1,599 critically-ill patients on emergency status across the islands. Besides this, another 1,691 patients were provided financial support by the scheme to seek medical attention abroad.

Expenditure on Aasandha has gone up 60 percent in the last five years, while the spending rose 40 percent last year compared to the 2018 annual figure.

Meanwhile, Minister of Social and Family Development Dr. Aishath Shiham said the government was analyzing various models to reduce wastage from Aasandha.

The government budgeted an annual total of MVR 1.9 billion for Aasandha services for 2024.

Earlier, the Ministry of Finance projected Aasandha expenditure could reached MVR 3.4 billion by end of current fiscal year if austerity measures not exercised.

The insurance scheme's expenditure reached an all-time high last year, while the annual spending has exceeded 20 percent from the original budgeted total in the past five years.

On average, expenditure through Aasandha on medical procurements reach MVR 500 million, for which the state has taken measures to cut costs.

Earlier, World Bank had raised concerns over the hiked-up prices of medicines sold over the counters at local pharmacies.