The deal between the Maldives government and Apollo Hospitals to manage Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) has fallen through, local media reported Health Minister Dr Aminath Jameel as saying on Tuesday.
“We had to terminate the agreement because they [Apollo] were unable to meet the terms and conditions stated in the agreement. Every agreement specifies deadlines to settle certain matters,” Dr Jameel reportedly said.
“We have also informed them [Apollo] that the agreement has been terminated.”
Senior staff at the Health Ministry and Chair of the Privatisation committee Mahmoud Razee told Minivan News they had not been informed of the deal’s collapse and had only heard media reports. Minivan News contacted Dr Jameel but she was unable to confirm the reports as she was “travelling in the islands.”
The government reportedly terminated the agreement with Apollo after the Indian hospital giant was unable to invest the agreed amount to develop the hospital.
Apollo had estimated that it would cost US$25 million to bring the hospital up to global standards. The group also revealed intentions to make 80 percent of its employees Maldivian over a 15 year period, although it was unclear as to how this would be achieved given the lack of medical higher education facilities in the country.
Apollo planned to offer orthopedics, cardiology, gastro, neurology, acute care and trauma specialities in the first phase of the privatisation deal, as well as set up and operate a cardiology unit within the year, the Health Ministry stated when the deal was first announced in January.
CEO of IGMH Zubair Mohamed was not responding to calls at time of press, but expressed concern when the deal stalled in July, stating that uncertainly over the arrangement was making “little investments” more difficult.
“Apollo is an expert group and would bring a lot of benefits to the people,” he told Minivan News at the time. “They have the capacity to raise existing standards. But even if they do not come we will continue trying to improve services.”
However the agreement stalled after the private healthcare giant failed to submit a required operational management agreement by the July 2010 deadline. Both parties were required to cement the deal and sign the 12 year management agreement by the end of July.