Hospital infested with rats and cockroaches: IGMH staff

A rat and cockroach infestation are the latest in a series of problems faced by the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), reports local media.

The hospital has become infested with rats, which are seen “scurrying about the wards”, a doctor working at IGMH told Haveeru on condition of anonymity.

“There are a lot of rats in the wards. We see them scurrying about. That has become a common sight, especially in the evening,” said the doctor.

“The pantry room is a rat nest, [but] it’s not only the rats. We’ve got a big cockroach problem too,” an IGMH nurse told local media.

“People come to tackle the plague of rats. But we don’t see the numbers receding,” she added.

A nurse recently found a live rat inside a plastic bag containing her breakfast, which was delivered from the hospital canteen. The incident was reported to the Health Protection Agency.

Despite numerous customer complaints about the canteen’s hygiene standards, a top official from the canteen denied any rats ever being present in the eatery, while speaking to Haveeru.

Due to severe budgetary constraints IGMH has faced numerous operational challenges. Major grievances have included overcrowding, as well as a lack of medicine, medical equipment, and maintenance.

IGMH Media Coordinator Zeenath Ali acknowledged the mounting complaints while speaking to local media and made assurances that the hospital was “on top of the problem”.


IGMH operations “back to normal” amidst overcapacity fears

Overcapacity fears at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ have been temporarily resolved today despite ongoing concerns about its ability to cope with the demand for medical care in the capital, a hospital official has said.

Local media reported yesterday that IGMH staff were trying “desperately” to accommodate patients after every bed within the hospital become occupied after a surge in demand for care.

An IGMH official told Minivan News today that while overcapacity fears had been temporarily resolved – with operations at the hospital having returned to normal – uncertainty remains over whether the same problems could again occur tonight.

The official alleged that the “source” of the overcrowding problem was due to a lack of proper medical services provided on the islands surrounding Male’, which had resulted in more patients coming to the capitol for surgery.

“While it is usually busier during the holiday period, the real problem is that the quality of hospitals and other medical services on these islands is not up to standard. Therefore islanders have no choice but to come to Male’ for treatment,” the source claimed.

“As transportation links between islands and Male’ have increased in recent years, it now means that more people can get here.”

According to the IGMH official, the hospital presently has a maximum capacity of 280 to 300 patients, while its catchment area has a population of 125,000 people.

In order to cope with the recent influx of patients this week, the hospital official claimed that the site had temporarily ceased operating on electives [non-urgent medical cases] in order to focus on those coming in needing urgent surgery.

“Normally we have around five patients waiting for admission in ER, however last night we had 18. We have tried to streamline the whole process by putting non-urgent surgery on wait so we could directly focus on urgent medical conditions,” the source said.

To future alleviate the number of patients coming into IGMH, the hospital source said today that an 11-floor building was to be constructed focussing on “mother and baby” related medical issues.

“About one third of our patients, on most occasions, are to do with paediatrics and gynaecology, so this new building will give us a lot more relief at IGMH,” the spokesperson said.

“The Finance Ministry, President’s Office and the Health Ministry are trying to get the loan [for the construction of the building], and when that comes through it is expected that the construction will take around five months,” the hospital official said.

Minister of Health Dr Ahmed Jamsheed Mohamed was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

IGMH concerns

Earlier this month concerns were raised about treatment received at IGMH by relatives of a mother who had given birth to a five-month-old foetus that was alleged to have been incorrectly diagnosed as deceased by hospital staff.

While the hospital maintained it had correctly pronounced the foetus as deceased before sending it to a cemetery in Male’ for burial, relatives expressed concerns about how the hospital had dealt with the matter.

The Ministry of Health told Minivan News at the time that a review would be undertaken of policies at state-run hospitals in the Maldives and their handling of such situations.

This week IGMH was required to commence a separate investigation into the case of a woman who had her uterus removed due to damage caused during the delivery of her baby, local media reported.  The child had been stillborn, according to reports.

A family member told Sun Online that the 24 year-old woman was admitted to IGMH last Friday where, despite advice from specialists at another institution who advised for a caesarean, she was asked to wait to see if she gave birth naturally – despite the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck.

Twelve hours later, the family were told the baby had died in the womb.

COO of IGMH Dr Ismail Shafeeu told Sun Online at the time that a case related to a woman whose baby died during delivery was currently under investigation.

“Something like that has happened, we are looking into it. There are plenty of problems related to IGMH, some of which involve negligence by the staff. They’re all under investigation,” he said.


India pledges financial support for Male’ hospital overhaul: report

India’s government has pledged to provide Rf2.7m in aid designed to try and boost services being offered at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’, Haveeru has reported.

The funds form part of a package that is expected to provide new examination equipment and medical consumables at some point during the next month ahead of additional plans to renovate the hospital.

Zubair Mohamed, Managing Director of Male’ Health Services Corporation (MHC), reportedly announced that more details on the nature of aid being made available for renovating IGMH would be announced after the completion of negotiations between the Maldivian and Indian governments.

The hospital has recently experienced uncertainty over the issue of its future management on the back of protracted discussions with the India-based medical company, Apollo Hospitals.

Just last month, local media reported that Health Minister, Dr Aminath Jameel, claimed a deal between the Maldives government and Apollo Hospitals to manage IGMH had fallen through.

“We had to terminate the agreement because they [Apollo] were unable to meet the terms and conditions stated in the agreement.
Every agreement specifies deadlines to settle certain matters,” Dr Jameel reportedly said. “We have also informed them [Apollo] that the agreement has been terminated.”

Senior staff at the Health Ministry and Chair of the Maldives’ Privatization Committee, Mahmoud Razee, told Minivan News at the time that they had not been informed of the deal’s collapse and had only heard media reports.

The government reportedly terminated the agreement with Apollo after the Indian medical giant was unable to invest the agreed amount to develop the hospital.


Bangladeshi killed in street mugging

A 30 year-old Bangladeshi man was killed this morning in Maafanu Carnation Magu in Male’ after being stabbed in the chest during what is thought to have been an attempted mugging.

According to police, the incident took place at about 7am and the man died shortly afterward while undergoing treatment at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

No arrests have been in connection to the case yet, a police media official said.

Residents of the area told Minivan News that two men attempted to the rob the Bangladeshi of his backpack and Nokia mobile phone and he was stabbed when he fought back.

“People from the neighbourhood came out when they heard him screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’,” a woman who wished to remain anonymous recounted. “There was blood on the middle of the road and his insides had spilled out.”

She claimed that while police arrived on the scene promptly, it was only 30 minutes later that the victim was taken to the hospital.

But, a police media official denied the accusation, claiming that “police went to the scene and did the necessary checks and he was taken to the hospital as quickly as possible; it can’t have been 30 minutes.”

None of the residents who witnessed the aftermath saw the assailants.

A Bangladeshi in the area claimed that the victim was on his way to work after having breakfast when he was attacked by ‘parteys’ (drug addicts).

“A few days ago, two of them stole my phone when I was in front of the house,” he said. “It is not safe for us here anymore.”