The practice of “begging for prescriptions” has come to an end with the introduction of a universal health insurance scheme on January 1, President Mohamed Nasheed said today.
Free universal health insurance is one of the five core campaign pledges of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Speaking to press during a visit to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) to observe arrangements for the free health care service, Nasheed said he expected services at the main referral hospital to improve.
He added that private clinics that agree to the terms of the ‘Aasandha’ programme could be included in the scheme.
The scheme offers treatment worth Rf100,000 a year for all Maldivian citizens with valid national identity cards and does not require registration.
The government is working to modify the stipulation that private clinics will not be included in the universal health insurance scheme Aasandha, due to become active tomorrow, January 1.
President Mohamed Nasheed this morning announced that the government is trying to set procedural standards for including clinics in the scheme, Haveeru reports.
Health Minister Ibrahim Waheed told local media that, “We haven’t planned to include private clinics in Aasandha in 2012. The government doesn’t want everyone to set up clinics in their houses but rather wants the people to be able to receive treatment from a single place.”
He added that clinics must upgrade their services to hospital standard in order to be included in the Aasandha scheme.
Details have not been revealed.
The Aasandha scheme does include provisions for Maldivians seeking medical treatment abroad, and offers financial support for those in need.