UK medical experts to help manage IGMH

The Malé Health Services Corporation (MHSC) is expanding its senior management team with three health professionals from the UK, who have been recruited to support the health transformation agenda of the MHSC, accelerate quality improvements, and rigorously hone cost efficiency.

The volunteers were recruited with the assistance of UK-based NGO Friends of Maldives and the Maldivian High Commission in London who together,have selectively been placing health volunteers around the Maldives through the International Volunteer Programme (IVP).

The three volunteers will initially come for one year, extendable to two years, and say they hope to leave a lasting, positive legacy within the MHSC, by developing local leaders in the medical sector.

Cathy Waters will start as the new General Manager of IGMH at the beginning of February 2011. Waters has 17 years of senior health management experience, including eight years as a Chief Executive in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), where she demonstrated exemplary management of staff, personnel issues and substantial budgets in the face of major financial challenges.

Waters has also worked effectively as a senior management consultant, achieving organisational change and strategic development targets. Amongst her many qualifications, she has two Masters Degrees (one in Business Administration), an Advanced Diploma in Coaching, a teaching certificate in further education and is a qualified nurse, midwife and health visitor.

Waters says she believes wholeheartedly in involving the public and service users in providing better health care, and in coaching and developing individual health professionals into new and sustainable roles.

Liz Ambler will begin in the role of Nursing Director for MHSC in mid-March. She currently works for the UK’s Department of Health, whilst her specialist clinical background is in blood disorders and cancer care. With significant senior management experience in UK, the Middle East and Africa, she has a proven track record of improving health care quality whilst reducing expenditure.

Ambler has a Nursing Degree, a Masters in Public Health and a postgraduate certificate in Global Development Management, and says she “can’t wait to get stuck in” training, auditing, and developing clinical guidelines with MHSC’s nurses.

Liz is passionate about nursing, improving patient safety and motivating others to achieve good governance.

Rob Primhak has been appointed as Medical Director of MHSC and will make an initial visit mid-February 2011, before starting in earnest in July when he retires early from his Consultant Paediatrician post to take up this new and challenging role.

Primhak has 35 years of clinical and research expertise, primarily in the fields of respiratory medicine and treatment of children and newborn babies, both in UK and Papua New Guinea. He has successfully introduced innovative services and demonstrated a life-long commitment to the education and training of doctors, through the establishment of new curricula and training programmes. He aspires to leave a lasting impression on clinical governance at MHSC through development of health professionals and clinical quality standards.

“We look forward to working with the UK experts in revamping health care quality at MHSC, and are very optimistic about their successful team efforts in turning around IGMH”, said Mr Zubair Muhammad, Managing Director of MHSC.

Lucy Johnson is the Health Lead for UK-based NGO, Friends of Maldives.


70 thoughts on “UK medical experts to help manage IGMH”

  1. @ maru-theyo, Mariyanma,

    What is wrong with us that we see 'western plot' whenever some organisation comes here on humanitarian work? There is no danger to our religion becoz of these volunteer workers. They have volunteered for noble, humane work and we should welcome them. Instead of extending help to them why see 'sinister motive' in this.

  2. Ahmed BABS is very right - doctors get most of their knowledge from experience and continuous learning - as scientists do too. Education doesnt end with your degree. One probalbly has to work in such a field to be able to understand that.

    Despite someone abusing my name here, I still insist that machineries at IGMH are good and that the hospital is well equipped. I find it fair that, if a particular service is not available, IGMH will say so and refer to other hospitals.

    A doctor from the *evil-western*secular* Germany was taken through IGMH early 2009 because his idea was to send used equipment from *evil-western-secular* Germany to Maldives. His conclusion after a tour through the ICU, operation theater, laboratories was that there is nothing better in Germany he could send over, and that the hospital is comparable to German governmental hospitals. He was deeply impressed about the standard of the hospital.

    So now all anti-secularists, anti- Westeners, anti-whatever, it's your turn to defame this doctor and condemn his actually very sincere wish to help if he could.

  3. "... there is nothing better in Germany he could send over, and that the hospital is comparable to German governmental hospitals."

    Dear Marina,

    You cannot be more ill-informed about the status of IGMH.

    Do you really believe IGMH is as equipped as German hospitals?

    If this doctor said there is nothing more that HE could send over, that probably means, of all the equipment this particular doctor discard in Germany, there is nothing that is better than what we already have at IGMH. This may be different if he had visited a hospital in Sudan or Somalia, for example. We are better than them.

    That does not in any way mean our IGMH is as GOOD or as WELL-EQUIPPED as german hositals.

    IGMH is pathetic place. If they have one working ventilator, the other will be out of order. But we need a few ventilators to keep at least the ICU working.

    We have some good doctors at IGMH who sincerely want to make the place better. But they do not take long to get frustrated for their working conditions are poor and the place is ill-equipped. On top of everything they are paid much less than they deserve and have no incentive to work hard. I do not expect the conditions to be similar in Germany.

  4. "We dont need them here. Maldivian Health System has been paralysed by politicians out to acquire personal waelth at the expense of common man on the street.Howmany of you know that NHS has been revamped and these people have been out of job."

    Clearly you don't think you need anything from anyone outside. Just keep on filling up the country with Bangladeshi/Indian labourers and soon you'll be a minority in your own country! Very soon you'll wake up to find that you no longer have any power or say in the country you and your ancestors were born to.

    It takes an educated and humble mind to realise what you don't have and what you need to learn.

    Even if those people who are coming here are out of a job (which I doubt very much), it doesn't reduce their value as professionals with very strong records in their field. Yes, they are medical experts! Each one of them is trained in an area of medicine.

    For those of you who think ANY volunteer coming here from the West is a missionary, then think about this. How strong is YOUR religious view to be so easily "fooled" by a missionary? Why are you so afraid? Look around you; there's murder on the streets of your capital on a daily basis. There's drug abuse, adultery, fornication, alcholism, child abuse throughout your islands. What religion do you have? How come your faith is NOT able to stop all of this?

  5. "We have some good doctors at IGMH who sincerely want to make the place better. But they do not take long to get frustrated for their working conditions are poor and the place is ill-equipped. On top of everything they are paid much less than they deserve and have no incentive to work hard. I do not expect the conditions to be similar in Germany."

    Why are their working conditions so poor? Why are they over worked? Because they are having to cater for an island BURSTING out of capacity; an island with a population greater than 150,000. This hospital was never designed for half the population on one island!

    If the population of Male was, say, 50,000, you'll find your IGMH to be a stellar hospital with very happy staff!

    That's why it won't be the same as Germany. The patient/doctor ratio in ANY other hospital outside IGMH will be much lower. As with anything, Maldivians like to break records; whether it is in divorce rates, population density etc.

  6. "If the population of Male was, say, 50,000, you’ll find your IGMH to be a stellar hospital with very happy staff!"

    Certainly not!
    Forget about this idea that IGMH is a stellar hospital and it is ONLY the patient/doctor ratio that has to be revised.

    IGMH is not even half as good as what can be called a stellar hospital. It never was. It can only be considered a stellar hspoital if we expect health workers, not doctors, to work there.

    Even if you reduce the population of Male' to 10,000, IGMH will still be an ill-equipped place for most doctors. May be a field like general medicine may be (I said may be) practiced fairly well if the lab is reasonably well equipped. And thats probably it. But we are not equipped even for the general medicine doctor.

    We need not just qualified doctors to work to make IGMH a better place. We also need the supportive equipment. What will the neurologist do, if he cannot get a basic MRI done for his patient? How much can the surgeon do if he cannot get a CT scan for his patient? Such questions are countless. And just because we can do an MRI and we can get a CT scan done, please do not think that all is good.

    To improve on such matters, we need finance. I am afraid we do not SEEM to have this. Why do you think Apollo Hospitals lost interest? Because they realised that they cannot generate that kind of money out of poor Maldivian patients.

    The only way IGMH can be beneficial for the public is if the government can bear a large part of its running cost. To ensure this cost is as small as possible, we need a fantastic management, which I am compelled to say, we do not have (yet?).

  7. @Manager I guess all these years you have been hiding in TORA-BORA, They worked NHS, the most complex health organisation in the world. Have you ever been in IGMH lately, I think you should, caz u are just blowing everything that comes into your mind without knowing anything about IGMH. So itll be much better if you just keep quiet

  8. @Ali, another filthy mind, have you ever think anything else beside politics and israel. White does not mean christian and christian does not mean Israel, Oh god these people are crazy. I wonder why do you post these comments in English and its much more surprising to me that you speak in English.

  9. @mariyanma, seems you need Salaf groups Dharus to srengthen your faith. Now yours is very weak, theres no medicine for that other than SALAF Dharus..LOL

  10. People please shut up ! if you dont know what you are talking about dont comment! please let the professionals take care of this. Do you realize it takes at least 10 yrs to complete medical education, please dont be an embarassment for the rest of us Maldivians!

  11. I know that a German friend of mine has offered a lot of very good hospital equipment to the Health Ministry at very good rates recently and in earlier times - but he did not even get an answer.

    Regards Whalesharkfriend

  12. @ Rocket, regarding ICU and ventilators:

    At the time when I inspected the ICU, 7 ICU stations were fully functional, all 7 equipped with ventilators. I have seen them myself.

    It is not BAD - but right, the hospital was not made to cater for so many people, I agree on that.

  13. "What will the neurologist do, if he cannot get a basic MRI done for his patient?"

    Tell you a secret. Some of the best doctors in the world do their work without access to equipment costing millions of dollars. Modern equipment helps and facilitates a doctor's work. But a doctor is trained to work and good doctors are more than capable of working without access to such sophisticated machinery.

    Before you go on a jihad about equipment for IGMH, do you know what the most common reason for patients to visit the hospital? Do you have a breakdown of the numbers that need neurosurgey as opposed to just a couple of tablets of panadol?

  14. I am one of the 'volunteers' who is referred to in the discussion above. I have been looking at the news in the Maldives prior to coming to work at MHSC in June and was a bit startled to see the passion which seems to have been aroused. Perhaps I can clear up a few points.
    I am currently working as a specialist paediatrician in Sheffield Children's Hospital in the UK (and despite the fact that I qualified in 1975, I remain up to date in my specialty and am responsible for teaching and training students and more junior doctors.
    I am not in any way religious, and am not evangelical about my disbelief, so the faith of the Maldivians should be safe from any attack by me.
    I will be doing some paediatric clinical work when I arrive, as well as trying to help the MHSC to improve the quality of health care overall.
    So why did I apply for the post in the Maldives. Well, it wasn't for the money! I am taking a big cut in pay and pension to leave my current position. I have worked overseas before, and enjoyed living and working in different cultures. I went into medicine to try and make a difference, and I hope that I can do so in your country.
    Is the Maldives such an unpleasant place to live that people have to have an ulterior motive to come and work with you? I hope not!
    I look forward to meeting some of you later in the year.

  15. @ Marina

    7 ventilators?
    When was this?
    Do me a favour. Check how many are working now.

    @ ABABS

    I am not saying that doctors cannot work in ill-eqipped hospitals. All I am saying is that if the place is ill-equipped, the services offered cannot be anything but SUB-STANDARD. This is quite contrary to the idea of a 'stellar hospital' someone suggested. Subs-tandard services affect not only the patients, but also the doctors. From the doctors' perspective, it is utterly frustrating and also demotivating.

    "Before you go on a jihad about equipment for IGMH, ..."

    No, I do not intend to go on such a Jihad. But I agree that something has to be done.

  16. @Rob Primhak - Thank you for commenting... hopefully your words have helped those few paranoid people who frequently use this forum for scaremongering to understand your true motives - and if you haven't succeeded in persuading them, I wouldn't worry too much, they are definitely a very small minority.
    I was a volunteer in Maldives from 2001-2003 and I felt nothing but warmth from every Maldivian I met. True, the country has changed a lot since then, but I still believe that the vast majority of people will not only have no problem with your presence, but will also be very welcoming and very grateful for the help you can provide.
    I wish you all the best for your time in Male', if your experience is in any way similar to mine you will have an amazing time!

  17. @Rob Primhak on Sun, 30th Jan 2011 8:40 PM

    Don't worry. Most of what's being discussed here is for no other reason, than there being a lack of opportunity for venting the failures of ones own self. Mostly harmless.

    And also,it makes to a small, may be but still, a semblance of entertainment.

    You are most welcome, and i bet you will enjoy your stay here very much

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