Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH)’s orthopedic department has stopped work after a group of people threatened an orthopedist, seeking a doctor’s note for treatment overseas through the Maldives’ nationwide health insurance scheme ‘Aasandha’.
The person who asked for the doctor’s recommendation to receive medical treatment abroad was first told by IGMH that such a recommendation could not be made because his injury could be treated in the hospital, according to a statement issued by IGMH.
The hospital claimed the man then refused treatment from IGMH.
IGMH said the same person later came into the hospital with a group of 10 men and threatened to attack the doctor, stating that he too would have to seek medical treatment through ‘Aasandha’ if he did not write the recommendation note.
The doctor then filled in the form for the man to receive treatment abroad, according to IGMH.
Aasandha’s free medical treatment is provided only when a doctor completes the special designated form.
The person sought out the doctor during a departmental staff meeting, according to IGMH.
Head of the Orthopedic Department Dr Ali Muznee told newspaper ‘Haveeru’ that in the past doctors have been subjected to such threats individually, but today the group threatened all the doctors working in the Orthopedic Department.
IGMH also said today that they are considering having police officers maintain security in the hospital after the incident.
Minivan News reported in September 2012 the widespread intimidation, fraud and “substandard” treatment by patients, health authorities, local staff and the country’s courts faced by expatriate medical professionals in the Maldives.
One foreign doctor who spoke to Minivan News sat the time said there was a lack of public understanding concerning the scheme and what they were entitled to.
“They become very angry when we tell them that this or that medical condition is not covered by Aasandha. A lot of times they force the management to force us to fabricate a medical condition just to get Aasandha approval,” he said.