Currency crisis may affect purchasing of medical supplies, hospitals confirm

Senior figures at Male’s two major hospitals have claimed the institutions could “run into difficulties” supplying certain medicines and services if the current currency crisis in the country continues, although stocks are currently sufficient.

Amidst a controversial government decision to devalue the rufiya against the US dollar in order to address the black market dealings for foreign money, businesses such as flight providers have also claimed to be facing difficulties in providing their services.

In this market place, ADK Hospital Managing Director Ahmed Afaal said that ADK Enterpises, the hospital’s parent company, had raised concerns about the availability of dollars to purchase certain medicines for its pharmacy operations.

“At the moment, the hospital has stock for our needs. Yet if we cannot get enough because of a lack of dollars we may run into difficulties in the future,” he said. “For the time being, we have enough medicines to treat patients, although some medicines may become difficult to find at our pharmacies.”

Cathy Waters, Chief Executive of Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), agreed that concerns over the availability of dollars may hamper the hospital’s efforts to purchase medical goods and services in the short to medium-term, though she believed payment of the expatriate workers vital to running health centres was a greater problem at present.

“My biggest concern is how [this financial situation] may impact our ability to employ expatriate workers, as well as pay for certain goods,” she said. “We are particularly dependent on an expatriate workforce at the hospital and these workers are particularly aware of the dollar situation in the Maldives.”

According to Waters, expat staff had already raised concerns about difficulties they have experienced in sending dollars abroad to support their families – a key reason many initially accepted work in the Maldives.

Waters said she believed the hospital could also face ongoing problems in covering the costs of imported medicines and other services, despite supplies currently meeting needs.

Requests had been made to national health authorities to try to find ways to alleviate possible short-term and medium-term supply and payment issues, she added, although she said she had not yet been informed as to what measures might be taken.

The Ministry of Health was not responding to Minivan News at  time of press.

However Dr Jorge Mario Luna, World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to the Maldives, told Minivan News that at present there had not been any requests from health service providers in the country concerning possible procurement problems as a result of a shortage of US dollars.

Dr Luna said that the WHO itself did not procure drugs or treatments outside of public health medicines for certain illnesses like tuberculosis or filariasis, yet it was ready to assist health services if required.

“As of today, we have not received any request for emergency medicines due to a procurement problem,” he said. “In case we receive a request, we stand ready to assist.

The government has meanwhile claimed that fluctuations caused by the managed float of the rufiya will stabilise in three months as the market adjusts.


5 thoughts on “Currency crisis may affect purchasing of medical supplies, hospitals confirm”

  1. No wonder.. Minivan, you should write the story in Haveeru, which is in Dhivehi, about Nasandhra palace hotel and Shangri La hotels rent has been reduced by 96%. Another Maumoon like move from tourism ministry. If Anni truly wants to show he is different, he should instruct tourism ministry to withdraw this amendment. Anni or tourism ministry should apologies to the people. We are bankrupt and we don’t have money even to buy medicines. What do we do, we give 96% discount on our revenue. With the new rent prices, even corporate can build some flats on this place. I would like to know our finance ministers view on this, let’s see if he is true to his word. Well, I wonder what’s happening to our MDP. Is this the reason we voted for you or continue to vote for you?

  2. The crisis could potentially disturb food imports and distribution for importers are unable to buy dollars to pay for new orders.

    I think MMA could help by injecting dollars to the market as Government's revenue in dollars is high with resort island rents, tgst and many other sources of dollar income

  3. IGMH is government meant owned and as Dr. Luna mentioned, WHO is around the corner to assist in case of medical shortages dues to dollars. Lets not build a fire out of nothing...
    ....ADK and other private medical centers do provide needed services and we do appreciate, however, the massive profits they derive is diverted into other uses such as political campaigns, new business ventures, resort construction, etc.
    ...did you ever ask yourself how much good have these private entities done to the public except squeezing us with huge consultation fees and a line of tests!!!
    ...did ADK owner and his lavish top brass buy the jaguars using yuan, yen or dollars? I will agree IGMH needs not to run short of anything as it is the only government hospital. As for private parties, please provide genuine services and maybe the banks may assist you!

  4. @Real.....a real nut case you are!!...Tell me is there a country where health services come cheaply...The health care rates of maldives are very reasonable compred to the amount of expenditure clinics and hospitals have to cope with...The real root cause of the problem is there is just not enough dollars around and the incompetent MDP government is unwilling to do anything about it until 2013 elections...It ADK's money wether they spend it on jaguars or whatver is not others concern...Wether You "Real "buy an iphone with your salary while a kid goes to school without bag or a meal is not anyones concern...This is a capitalistic country...What do you want us to be centralistics communists...The problem is this government has dissapointed the public and is spending millions on state sanctioned corruption and buying opposition memebers through bribing.....And fools like you keep supporting people like Reeko while MDP and its cronies are eating your money making you poorer by the day.....

  5. Our Health Minister is wonder we have full of problems in the health sector


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