Health Minister Ahmed Naseem has stated that Cuban doctors from Cuba will arrive in the Maldives next month.
Speaking at Wednesday's Parliament session, Minister Naseem said the number of doctors and administrative staff at local hospitals is inadequate. He said many foreign doctors and other healthcare workers in the Maldives went back to their countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic and have not returned, which caused a shortage in healthcare staff.
Noting that the administration is working hard to hire more doctors and staff, the minister said it was difficult to recruit doctors from neighboring nations. However, he said that 26 specialist doctors from Cuba would arrive in the Maldives in May. He did not share where the doctors would practice.
'As you know, many essential people left the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of skilled professionals who left the country is more than the number we have been able to recruit. This has caused a gap that still remains unfilled,' the minister said.
The minister further said there is a lot of administrative work that must be done to address and resolve the issue of the administrative staff at hospitals. He acknowledged that the Finance Ministry was cooperating in the efforts and said the problems would likely be resolved before the end of the year.
Naseem said hospitals and health centers are in need of furniture and equipment such as desks, chairs, and computers. While some of the equipment has been received under the Word Health Organization (WHO)'s assistance, he said the items would be sent to recipient hospitals and health centers in June.
The minister acknowledged that there was room for improvement in the health sector. He assured that all issues could be resolved with the assistance and cooperation of the Parliament and relevant authorities.