Low salaries and safety issues keeping foreign doctors away: Health Ministry

The Ministry of Health has identified salaries and staff safety as the key issues driving “shortages” in the number of trained medical staff coming from abroad to work at hospitals in the Maldives.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Geela Ali said that authorities were in the process of trying to recruit a number of medical specialists from across the region, adding that efforts were needed to overcome the various “issues” limiting interest from foreign professionals in coming to the Maldives.

The comments were made as Dr Mohamed Habeeb, presently in charge of Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’, last week raised concerns in local media about a serious shortage of doctors, which he said was having a major impact on services.

IGMH Media Correspondent Zeenath Ali explained to Minivan News today that although paediatric services had been suspended temporarily at IGMH three months ago due to a lack of qualified staff, the services were now operating as normal.

“Previously, we had an issue with the numbers of doctors due to some resignations and contracts finishing,” she said of the difficulties faced three months ago.

Zeenath added that while the issue of having no paediatric staff had since been resolved, IGMH has requested assistance from the Health Ministry in recruiting additional medical specialists to meet patient demand in the capital.

Despite this high demand for medical services, she said IGMH had not since been forced to terminate entire services at the hospital as a result of staff numbers.

“We have four paediatricians presently working at the hospital. But it remains difficult on the international market to try and attract paediatricians to join us,” she said.

According to Zeenath, IGMH has also requested that additional anaesthesiologists be hired to meet the hospital’s present workload. She added that the Ministry of Health was said to be working on recruiting more staff to cope with patient demand.

Speaking about these recruitment efforts, Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Geela said there was presently a shortage of medical staff at hospitals and health centres across the country as a result of ongoing issues – not least in the basic salary packages offered by the state.

“We have been running adverts to try and find qualified staff across the region, but so far we are not seeing adequate response from other countries,” she said.

Geela claimed that salary was among the most prevalent issues authorities had identified as being responsible for shortages in medical staff, with the government pledging to raise wages from January 2014 should the proposals gain parliamentary approval.

“This will allow us to offer better salaries from 2014 and we hope there will be more interest internationally,” she said.

Staff safety

Another challenge for attracting foreign medical staff was ensuring the safety of staff, particularly in the outer atolls.

Geela said that the Health Ministry could not alone ensure safer working environments for foreign medical staff, with wider support from the government and public needed.

“We need a societal approach to try and combat this problem. When we place staff on islands, community support is required to make sure they are looked after,” she said.

Threats

IGMH’s orthopaedic department temporarily ceased working last month after a group of people allegedly threatened a member of staff who had refused to provide a doctor’s note for overseas treatment through the Maldives’ nationwide health insurance scheme, ‘Aasandha’.

A patient, 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 before coming back to the hospital with a group of 10 men who 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 hospital at the time said it was considering the use of police officers maintain security on site following concerns about threats of violence to staff.

Minivan News reported in September 2012 on the alleged 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.

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24 thoughts on “Low salaries and safety issues keeping foreign doctors away: Health Ministry”

  1. Indian doctors and nurses applying for jobs in the Maldives should beware of the following:
    You will be paid a crap salary
    You will be working very long hours especially in A&E
    Your living accommodation will be poor
    You will be dealing with a lot of drug addicts everyday
    You passport will will be retained by your employer in case you run away
    Your employment contract will change willy nilly to suit your employer
    You may be beaten up if you fail to issue a false medical certificate to some local thug, especially true on the lawless atolls
    You will be denied freedom of worship if you are not a muslim in the '100% muslim Maldives'
    Are jobs in Maldives worth the hassle dear countrymen?
    The Maldives Ministry of Health should advertise their medical vacancies in countries that share their hate filled religion and values...........Pakistan for instance.

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  2. @missindia
    Greatly exaggerated as usual, but first of all why would they leave their country to go to a foreign country if it was really that bad?

    Aside from the usual b.s from the tranny above,
    We pay ridiculous amount in salary to the complete morons in political office such as the parliament almost 80,000 MRF, and that multiplied by 60-70 members and what not, a HUGE sum of money wasted on a bunch of morons who dont do crap.

    These doctors who come all the way from india and srilanka or wherever else deserves to be treated with respect and they deserve a LOT more money than they are being payed. Medicine is an extremely stressful profession as it is and the governments, any (current or previous) had really not done well at all in addressing the issues of these noble men and women who come from abroad to improve the healths of a bunch of retards who are incapable of appreciating what they are doing for them. At least people higher up can appreciate that, and the people themselves should start being good to other human beings, rather than this hatred towards people of different geographical locations. Its not a muslim or whatever thing, people hate other muslims as well, people from the islands are muslim and people from bangladesh are usually muslim and yet the locals in male' and even in the islands are neither good to these people, other foreigners or they arent good to their own folk either.

    This hatred and arrogance by the locals are disgusting, and for a while believed its a religious issue, but the people arent good to their own family, spouses, neighbours, children, friends or anyone either. Its a social issue stemming from over population in male' and not being exposed to the outside world, people here lack empathy of any sort, its disguised as hatred towards people who are of different faiths or cultures, but its just plain and simple hatred towards all people, even themselves

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  3. Western medicine is haraam - Allah is excluded, drugs are alcohol-based and they examine your genitalia - all of this is fitnah.

    Just recite the Koran and sprinkle some water on the patient. If Allah wills He will cure or if He wills he won't. Either way it's better than infidel science and kaafir doctors looking and touching pure Dhivehistanis.

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  4. @homo the roots of methodology for modern medicine medicine taken as a science and a philosophy was by a whom the west calls "avicena",in the same time period the west was behaving in the superstitious, "faith" obsessed manner for medicine.

    And now its the same people who was advanced before, behaving like the west a few hundred years ago, while the west has advanced beyond imagination.

    And who is to blame? the evil imperialists (ie the west), who sponsored wahhabism aligned saudis during the first world war, and gave them power, which distorted the progress oriented minds into barbaric savages,

    But regardless homos suck,
    other faiths and religions, or lack of them, foreigners or whoever deserves respect, but you suck homo

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  5. Dear Indians, further to my post above, I forgot to mention:
    You will be working in poorly equipped health centres with little or no diagnostic equipment and a permanent shortage of Indian manufactured drugs.....especially true on the atolls
    You will be hassled for unnecessary prescriptions for Valium and other addictive medicines and threatened with violence if you refuse
    You will be treated as 'inferior' by the local neanderthals who have
    a misplaced sense of 'superiority' over all expats.......don't forget Maldivians are the 'true believers' and the rest of us 'kuffars' are worthless garbage
    You will constantly have to watch your back in overcrowded and drug infested Male.....think South Bronx NYC or Soweto Township SA at 2am
    Unless the above issues are addressed by the Maldives Ministry of Health, dear countrymen, avoid, avoid, avoid the Maldives at all costs, especially if you are hindu or christian or sikh or shia or ahmadiyya or sufi or jewish......the days of exploitation of skilled Indian workers are well and truly over.
    Maldives Health Minister.....Sir.....we Indians will be very grateful if you could please do you medical recruitment in Pakistan or Somalia or Afghanistan or Yemen or Saudi Arabia......Thank you.....Sir.

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  6. @missindia
    Then dont come! really why are indians coming? sure our people might suffer, but so will a lot of indians (in hundreds) be deprived of jobs,

    Stop criticizing others before staring at the hellhole you come from

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  7. Ibn Sina? LOL!

    "Qazzali collected his (ibn Sina's) words in "Makasidul Falsafa". And then refuted them in 20 places of his book "Tahafutul falasifa". He accuse him (ibn Sina) in disbelief in 3 points. They are follow:
    1) Universe is eternal.
    2) Bodily resurrection wouldn't happen.
    3) And Allah does not know the parts (or details).
    Qazzali accused ibn Sina in disbelief due to these 3 points (from ibn Sina's beliefs). And due to others he accused him in innovation. And it was reported that he (ibn Sina) repented for these belief before his death. Wa Allahu alam". - Ibn Kathir, Bidayah wah Nihayah

    This is why infidels like Hippocrates, Vesalius and Galen must not be followed - it leads to kufr. Those infidel philosophers like homosexual Socrates and homosexual Plato and the homosexual medical illustrator Leonardo da Vinci must have sucked something too. Haha.

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  8. Oops. Forgot the links:

    http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showthread.php?t=1151

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/SherKhan50401.htm

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  9. @homo it was never established that da vinci was a turd like that, but only rumours. Even if they were homos doesn't make a difference, religion or what you do with your genitilia does not matter when it comes to scientific contribution.

    My argument was east vs west, not Islam vs west, I hate the mullahs as much as anyone else, but hate the west even more, and by saying east, it includes china and the middle east, even russia since they they have been feuding with the so called west.
    am not deluded with the idiotic dogma and superstition fabricated by idiotic "religious" people who cant distinguish between applicable science and their faith, beliefs and applicable science are seperate entities. but regardless homo, you suck, and hope you and your kind die of some horrible flesh rotting disease starting from your eyeballs, or all simultaneously combust for several hours until death, you all turds.

    Not a matter of faith, you suck regardless

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  10. @minivan respect freedom of expression, there was do direct profanity used in the comments (turd is not profane),having dislike is an opinion respect that and stop censoring comments regardless of which spectrum, thank you

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  11. i hate to say it but MissIndia New Delhi is telling the truth. these 3 points is always experienced by every expat.

    1.passport will will be retained by your employer in case you run away.

    2.You will be dealing with a lot of drug addicts everyday.

    3.Your employment contract will change willy nilly to suit your employer.

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  12. "Even if they were homos doesn’t make a difference, religion or what you do with your genitilia does not matter when it comes to scientific contribution."

    But they sucked! LOL. So did Mahmud of Ghazni and Alexander the Great. And Omar Khayyam. The things he wrote! And yes, we should all go back to ayurveda, acupuncture, ruqya, faith healing and witch doctors. Mashallah. Just dip a fly in your camel urine or drink black seed oil for cancer. LOL.

    By the way, speaking of science:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=homophobes-might-be-hidden-homosexuals

    My, my.

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  13. The truth of the matter is no real doctor will come to Maldives to practice his profession. Who will waste their skill on people, mainly schizophrenic and have obsession with medicine. Government is recruiting fake people from road side hawkers in India as doctors who come for peanuts. Why can’t you guys think straight and stop blaming anyone for anything. The main issue is Maldives is not a place for human being it is a bird hatchery. Instead of blaming any one why don’t you guys get some quality education and learn how to use your brains.

    Maldivian are wasting money unnecessary on doctors who are basically same as olden day funditha people, making money by tricking gullible like ignorant Maldivians. 90% of Maldivians who visits doctors either have hysteria or have medical condition due to poor diet and insufficient water also all Maldivian are close relative as close as brothers and sisters, who unknowingly get married and produce children with congenital disorders. About 30% of the population don’t really belong to the father they presume to be theirs due to unfaithful wives. So basically the whole Maldivian society is a product of very close blood relations due to smallness of the community and lack of ethics in family relation.

    Therefore Maldivians have to address their real issue and try to eliminate this fake doctor medicine business. Education (Not Mullah type), cross national breeding and awareness on healthy diet habit is what required. You don’t need to recruit these con Indians who may have been janitors in Hospitals and somehow got fake certificates to come to Maldives for peanuts. Maldivians cannot afford to get qualified physicians. therefore why wasting money on this, in reality no one even seeking any real medical help from such people when it comes a real medical condition, most of the people go abroad.

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  14. @kuribee HA HA HA HA,you forgot to change your screen name homo, go die in a hole

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  15. As usual, Miss India's points are valid but unnecessarily hitting out at religion and countries unrelated-other-than by religion.

    On the other hand, Fishy Heads comments are really obnoxious. May I ask him one question...when Mr. Qayoom was in power so many Maldivians were educated abroad (with the real purpose that they will come back to their own country) but where are they now? What are they doing? What habits have they picked up abroad? How many Girls they married? How many they divorced? When given responsible positions in Maldives itself What did they do? Making such silly comments about Doctors from India is not only ungratefulness but even animals will have more gratefulness.

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  16. @homo
    oh and "kuribee", LOL you secretly would like all men to be like you, but HA HA HA but not all people are born disfigured either(no offense to being disfigured since there is no choice involved in that), its an abnormality, and you choose to be abnormal, LOL.

    And the entire country hates you (excluding the 12 people commenting on minivan), them all fairies too?

    I bet that study gave you some hope hoping theres a lot more like you, b but no one including your neighbours, family, nor the general public likes you. Would be surprised if people, at best would "tolerate" you. How does it feel to be so hated, in your own country? LOL, so you are "kuribee", making a parody of morons on the other end of the spectrum, but you are a living parody yourself homo, you are a mere joke, seeking some form of attention and now youve come to terms with the fact that the only type of attention youll get is anger, and you have accepted that. Pathetic

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  17. LOL! A last minute repentance and I shall enter Paradise where boys like pearls await me. Youth with everlasting beauty as your Koran says. Or a stroll through the slave market in heaven and choose a mate for the day. Such beautiful promises...

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  18. This damn guy just loves to talk about homosexuality doesn't he. I bet he's still in the closet lol!

    On topic though, the situation in the Maldives is not as bad as miss india seems to be suggesting. Low wages are true, but seriously, it's not like every single doctor, nurse and teacher gets beaten up and raped. Dhivehistanis are savages, but not all of them are idiots.

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  19. i feel very happy after submitting my resignation.i feel i am freed from prison.Maldivan people should learn how to respect the ppl and should learn the more about islam.(true islam not maldivan islam)

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  20. @damn... then dont beg for drs.ur minister went Bangladesh fr drs even they refused to come.here in local news paper i see all ways madivan moh begging for drs.

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  21. I agree to most of Ms Indira is saying. True, some Mordisians are educated enough to respect others as humans, but you can't say that to most of them.

    Mordisians need to learn to respect others. You give and earn respect. Unlike the previous generations, when its considered rather rude, when a father speaks to the their kids, the times have changed now.

    On other note, what relation has this article got about sexuality? Way off topic for this article!

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  22. @Homosexual: Insightful point about the suppression of the thoughts of Ibn Sina. It is Gracious of you to continue to contribute your enlightening revelations about the fallacies of the literalist view point in Islam.

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  23. oh, I was going to say "fallacious nature of the literalist rendition of Islamic text - but fallacious sounds too much like... hehe, never mind, whole new can of worms

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