President Yameen to personally oversee health sector

With additional reporting by Daniel Bosley

President Abdulla Yameen has announced that he will personally oversee the Maldives’ health sector until it overcomes its current problems.

“When things don’t get done, it is the president elected by the people who has to bear responsibility. But the democratic way is to delegate the work and let others do it. And doing things through institutions and offices,” local media quoted Yameen as saying in Addu City yesterday (August 11).

“If everything has to be done by the president, then we can just pay the president a large salary, send everyone else home and the work will be done. But we have offices and departments because we don’t want to do that.”

Speaking at a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) rally, Yameen alleged that, despite a lot of developments having been brought to the health sector during Gayoom’s administration, no investments have been made during President Mohamed Nasheed’s time in office.

The Ministry of Health has been headed by Defence Minister Colonel (retired) Ahmed Nazim after former minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela’s renomination was rejected by the Majlis last month, and had fallen under the oversight of Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed.

In an interview with Haveeru earlier this week, Dr Shakeela alleged that she had received threats and intimidation prior to her departure, suggesting that political opponents wished to remove her in order to benefit from corrupt development deals.

“When things fail, all the complaints are targeted to the president and in the end it is whoever is elected to the post of president that needs to carry the responsibility for everything,” President Yameen told local media.

“Therefore, I have decided that although the sector was not overseen by me previously, I am going to run the health sector directly under my oversight until it overcomes its current hurdles,” he continued.

Corruption claims

Dr Shakeela – whose time in office was marked by a number of high profile mishaps within the sector – told Haveeru that she had not been provided adequate powers to carry out the changes required.

“When I was given the post, some people said this can’t be done by bringing in someone from far outside after we worked hard to bring this government,” she was quoted as saying.

“So from the start there were some people who were bent on showing that I was a failure.”

The state-owned Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) – long criticised for lack of qualified doctors and inadequate medical facilities – transfused HIV positive blood to a patient in February due to an alleged technical error.

In June, Fuvahmulah councillors called for Shakeela’s resignation after a case of stillbirth, an interrupted caesarean, and the death of a soldier on the island. A few weeks after, over 300 protestors demonstrated in Haa Dhaal Kulhudhuffushi over deteriorating conditions at the regional hospital.

Responding to Shakeela’s interview this week, PPM parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News that acting minister Nazim was carrying out “tremendous” work in the sector – work he is confident Dr Shakeela could not have done.

Nihan argued that the removal of Dr Shakeela was an example of good democratic practice after PPM members became dissatisfied with her performance.

On Monday (September 11) the ministry was reported to have signed an agreement with Sunshell Maldives Pvt Ltd for the MVR1.2 million (US$77,821) renovation of Hithadhoo regional hospital.

Yameen yesterday also praised acting health minister Nazim’s performance, saying he was “working very actively and conducting some very important work”.

He said that Nazim regularly deliberates with him on health sector issues, implementing his suggestions.

“I am therefore confident that with the current minister, I will be able to bring about the changes I desire in even the atoll level hospitals,” said Yameen.

The president is visiting Feydhoo and Hithadhoo islands in the southern atoll to examine ways in which the government’s development agenda can be implemented.

In addition to inaugurate a road construction project in Feydhoo, Yameen announced a land reclamation project to be started on the same island next year, as well as a atoll-wide sewerage project to begin this year.

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8 thoughts on “President Yameen to personally oversee health sector”

  1. It seems Yameen is very incompetent and should immediately resign. He can’t blame his own team for the failure as it is has to be a collective responsibility including him. He seems the most ignorant president worse than Golha. He doesn’t know that problem in health sector is not within the people who work in the health area. In Maldives, the biggest problem is abuse of health service, either because of ignorance or lack of health awareness coupled with corruption. The second issue is economy, and the crazy Asandh; which has become the betting chip in political gambling. The burden of Asandh is now biggest cancer and no one can cure it; in medicine obsessed Maldivian society, where generally people are poor and love fancy life, corruption is obvious when their income doesn’t meet their expectation . Doctors and health providers take financial advantage; of cause they will find all loop holes, the more prescription means, the more tablets are sold, and you just have simply a good deal with pharmacies, on other hand politicians have to satisfy these medicines obsessed population for winning at ballot box. In reality when you have a genuine case with a needy guy who needs a real medical attention, his cry never heeded.

    Just scrap Asandh and stop all health care related expenses from the government and make policies for young people to work and create opportunities for them to find jobs and draw insurance policies within this productive framework,. No Blaa blaa, show results, two years now you are simply playing blame game, even Bulhabe can do that kind of presidency.

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  2. Note to self: Study first aid and battlefield medicine. If it was bad with a gold-digger at the helm, it's gonna be worse with a drug lord in charge of the health sector.

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  3. Its like the blind leading the blind!
    All I would ask of President Yameen is to ensure the doctors, surgeons, lab technicians and nurses recruited from India are Sunni Muslims. It is immoral and unethical to recruit non Muslims and then subject them to your discriminatory and regressive '100% muslim' religious laws. It is NOT OK to do this any more.
    Indian nationals should check their employment contracts and not part with their passports at anytime. Any contravention of the contract should be reported at once to the Indian Embassy in Male. Do remember that the Maldives is the regional hub for human trafficking.
    Better still, why not recruit your doctors and nurses from Pakistan? They share your intolerant religious beliefs and will therefore fit right in.

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  4. So MDP didn't invest in the health sector for 3 years. And they stole billions of dollars yeah?

    Then prosecute them. Get them to pay back. If not throw them in jail and make them repent for their mistakes. Why is nothing being done about that?

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  5. We already know what is happening now. There are two parties who are supplying medical equipment to different hospitals in the Maldives. The manager of one of these companies was an MDP member but was forced to join PPM by threatening to boycott his business. These two companies charge more than 200% on whatever they supply to hospitals.This is a sort of looting. These two companies supply machines provided by Johnson and Johnson, India. The Indian company also has a strategy to loot Maldivians. Following the resignation of Shakeela, Yamin was worried that his two close friends will be exposed and this is the reason why Yamin has made this decision to take over health sector. He will favor more to his friends and there are more things to come. Thanks to the people of Seykustan.

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  6. Obviously President Yamin has to take control of everything!
    And he is doing it steadily!
    Traffic in Male' is in no less chaos than than that is in the health sector!
    I plead with him to take control of overseeing the traffic chaos in Male'!
    Please drive through the ever jamming traffic of Male' even for one day without having escort vehicles zipping away everyone in the path!
    To go to any health post he is giving us with all that he is going to put in, we have to pass through this chaos!

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  7. @MissIndia. Yameen is not going to pull down his pants in front of India .

    Pls. stop meddling with us and try improve your country's living standard .

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  8. @Hero: I'd describe what Yaameen is doing for India now that his party has led us all into debt just so his gangs could pocket a few dollars, but as this is a family-friendly website, I'll decline to add any more details.

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