Cardiologist now working at IGMH

The first cardiologist in the Maldives has begun work at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

According to Miadhu, Dr Ali Shafeeq had previously worked at IGMH and received his specialised medical studies at India’s Sri Chitra institute of medical science.

The cardiology unit at IGMH has been closed for a while now, Miadhu reported.


Apollo Hospital Group to run IGMH in privatisation deal

The ministry of health and family has announced a 15 year agreement with Apollo Hospital Group to manage Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’.

The deal was signed on behalf of the government by Health Minister Dr Aminath Jameel and Dr Preetha Reddy, who represented Apollo Hospital Group.

Apollo estimates it will need to spend US$25 million to bring the hospital up to global standards, according to the  Economic Times, an Indian newspaper.

A statement released by the ministry claimed the objective of the deal is to improve health services while keeping prices stable.

Apollo Hospital Group was first established in 1983, and is now considered the third largest private healthcare provider in the world. The company currently administrates 8,000 beds and has plans to reach 15,000 beds, reports the Economic Times.

Apollo is expected to make an assessment of the hospital’s needs in the first three months, and plans to offer orthopedics, cardiology, gastro, neurology and acute care and trauma specialities in the first phase of the privatisation deal. The hospital will set up and operate a cardiology unit within the year, the health ministry added.

Chairman of the privatisation committee Mahmood Razee said one of the first changes to be made by Apollo would be to management.

“The major issue was that the management structure [at IGMH] was not working properly, this led to high costs and some services and medicines not being available. The overall qaulity of service went down,” he said.

“Over the next three months there will be structural changes to management changes at IGMH, and an evaluation plan will be submitted as well. Apollo group gives IGMH the advantage of economies of scale, which will lower the overall running costs.”

The hospital’s new management group has also revealed its intentions to make 80% of its employees Maldivian over a 15 year period, although it was unclear as to how this would be achieved given the lack of medical higher education facilities in the country.

Another objective the ministry noted was to ensure that all employees are treated within the correct employment regulations set by the government.

Razee noted that the deal was not part of the government’s public-private partnership scheme.

A doctor working at IGMH said staff were unable to comment on the deal “because we haven’t been officially informed yet. All the information we have received has come through the media.”


Lack of local cardiologists forces NGO to fly in doctors

Maldivian infants with suspected congenital heart defects (CHD) are being flown to India for corrective surgery because of the lack of a pediatric cardiologist at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

In one Indian hospital alone, over a two year period 40 Maldivian babies have undergone surgery for CHD claimed Maldives NGO ‘Tiny Hearts Maldives’, which is advocating early screening within the country.

Heart defects are a leading cause of infant mortality, obstructing or constricting blood flow in the heart and blood vessels or affecting the heart’s rhythm.

Early detection is possible through an echocardiogram however while IGMH owns an echocardiogram machine, the lack of a trained cardiologist has left it unused.

In response, THM is bringing two cardiologists to the Maldives from India who will be running a three day screening camp for pregnant women from 9-11 February.

While the camp is being held to screen unborn babies for congenital heart defects, particularly women who are between 18-24 weeks pregnant, “there is also the possibility for adults with heart conditions to come along and have a check up,” said Fathmath Hishmath Faiz, one of THM’s founding members.

On the first two days of the camp the doctors will be screening around 15 women a day each. The final day involves an awareness program on CHD.

THM have held a previous screening camp on 12 September 2009.

Hishmath said “We screened 12 babies during our first camp, but it was not as many as we would have liked because they were the only the cases we already knew about.

“The main focus of this camp is to find more cases of CHD,” she said, but added that it was also important “to create more awareness about this condition.”

Tiny Hearts

THM was officially launched on 23 September 2009, as an NGO to promote awareness about CHD.

According to, CHD is one of the most common forms of birth defects and is responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects.

THM has a 24-hour hotline (7745173) for any inquiries regarding CHD.


MNDF corporal praised for bravery

The MNDF have congratulated corporal Mohamed Vishal of the Marine Corps for his initiative and bravery, after saving a man from a gang attack in December.

At round 9.30 pm on 10 December, Hassan Rasheed Abdullah, assistant director of the drug rehabilitation centre, was attacked by a group wielding box cutters and sustained many injuries.

According to MNDF, Vishal overcame many obstacles and took Rasheed to the IGMH hospital on his motorbike.

In recognition of his efforts, the Maldives police service had passed on a message of thank to Corporal Vishal.


Critically ill pregnant woman brought to Male’

A pregnant woman in a declining condition was brought to Male’ by the MNDF coast guard.

Azeeza Mohamed, 37, of Thaa Hirilandhoo, was on a boat travelling from Thaa Burunee to Male’ when her condition deteriorated so rapidly the captain requested help from the coast guard.

A vessel was dispatched with a doctor and two nurses from Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, IGMH.

The coast guard made contact with the vessel carrying Azeeza around 5.18am, and she was brought to Male’ at around 7.10am.

She is now being treated at IGMH.


More violence in Male’

A man was attacked and stabbed with a sharp object in the early hours of this morning.

According to police the man was attacked by a gang of six. He is currently receiving treatment in Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

The incident occurred around 2.45am near Maafanu Nalahiyya.

Police have arrested a boy under 18 years of age, who was connected to the incident.


Lightning strike victim brought to Male’

One of four people injured in lightning strikes in Haa Alif Dhidhoo has been brought to Male’ for further medical care.

Moosa Rasheed, 17, was admitted to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) because his condition was deemed too serious, reports Haveeru.

According to Haveeru, he has been taken into the intensive care unit and has not regained consciousness.

Of the four that were struck by lightning, one is stable and recovering at Kulhudhufushi regional hospital, while the other two have been released.


New recruiting policy could lead to doctor shortage

The health ministry has asked Indhira Ghandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) to recruit doctors without offering them a migration allowance.

The migration allowance is a very important factor in attracting foreign doctors to the Maldives.

Miadhu reported that Dr. Mohamed Razi, senior medical officer at IGMH, said he was concerned that low salaries for doctors combined with the cancellation of the migration allowance would make it very difficult to employ doctors.

IGMH and other hospitals were struggling due to the shortage of doctors, he said.

Razi said he believed IGMH would be able to increase salaries and benefits to doctors once it was privatised.


Second accident victim dies

The passenger on the motorbike involved in the accident on the Seenu Hithadhoo link road has died.

Of the three people involved in the accident, Rukshaan is the second person to die including the driver of the car, Moosa Didi.

The passenger, 19 year-old Rukshaan Ali, died while receiving emergency treatment at IGMH.

According to Haveeru, Rukshaan sustained many broken bones including his hips and legs.