The government has launched it’s ‘doctor for each family’ program by providing a doctor for every 2,500 people at the Villimalé Health Center (VHC).
Registration for the program was opened today for anyone who has been living on the island for at least three months. The deadline for registration is 8 March 2012.
The program is one of President Abdulla Yameen’s campaign pledges and also part of the government’s roadmap for the first hundred days which will be reached next week.
Ahmed Zahir, Director at Villimalé Health Center said that through the program a general practitioner, a community health officer, and two nurses will be dedicated to serve each 2,500 people group.
“Through the registration process we will collect information on everyone’s medical history, so their dedicated doctor will be familiar with it. Their [dedicated] doctors will see them and forward the cases to specialist doctors if there is a need,” he explained.
“They will also attend patients who are unable to come to the center in their homes,” he added, noting that in case of emergencies patients could see any doctor they wanted.
Zahir said that after collecting information from Villimalé residents, the center will also do any further tests required.
“The teams will make routine visits as scheduled, and will also be active if there is an epidemic of any sort.”
The schedule for doctor’s visits is yet to be formulated. Currently five doctors have been selected for the programme, and more doctors will be employed after the registration process is completed.
Zahir said that the VHC will be opening a State Trading Organization (STO) pharmacy within three weeks, though no progress has been made on the hundred day pledge of turning the VHC into a hospital.
Other hundred-days pledges of the government included introducing tertiary hospital services in the atolls, improving regional hospitals, establishing cancer and kidney disease treatment facilities, expanding dialysis services to more centers, and introducing mental health care services.
Last month free cervical cancer screening services were introduced at DhamanaVeshi, though the service is yet to be introduced at Hulhumalé hospital as promised.
The pledge to reform doctors’ pay structure was set to be implemented before being suspended by the president after criticism for the reduction of take-home salaries by MVR10,000 (US$648).
The Ministry of Health and Gender had also pledged to improve the social health insurance system and to increase the number of local doctors working at state health centers.
Building safe houses for women, children, and persons with disabilities on four islands, introducing free public transport for the elderly, providing services of a clinical psychologist for victims of abuse, reducing the negative of divorce on families, and working towards creating a drugs free society was also part of the hundred-day pledges.