An elderly man named Ali Waheed living in Villingili, a residential island that is the fifth district of Male’, has claimed he had to carry his wife to hospital in a garbage cart after the island’s health centre said there was no ambulance available “because it was Friday”.
“I called the police and asked for help, but they said all their vehicles had been damaged and taken Male to repair,’’ Waheed said. “The health centre said that because it was Friday there was no doctor or health worker available, and when asked if one could be made available as it was an urgent case, they said it was not the health centre’s policy.’’
Waheed’s house is located near the garbage pile on the island, and he found a wheel-cart nearby which was used to carry trash.
“I carried my wife on the wheel-cart to the Villingili-Male’ ferry and wheeled her to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).”
Waheed said he had informed Health Minister Aiminath Jameel of the incident by “sending more than 50 text messages to her mobile phone.”
“But so far she has not responded to any of those texts. It is very sad that this is the current situation in Villinigili,” he added.
He said doctors and other staff working at the health centre were themselves frustrated due to low wages and because they did not receive any overtime payments.
“They are frustrated and it affects the citizens of Villingili,” he said.
Minivan News spoke to Director of Villingili Health Centre Ahmed Zahir, who said that while Waheed had asked if an ambulance was available to take his wife to the ferry terminal, staff were not made aware that her condition was urgent.
Zahir said an ambulance and doctors were available on Fridays in urgent cases, but said there had been recent cases of the ambulance being called to carry boxes to the ferry terminal in lieu of a taxi.