"Aasandha costs will be reduced with implementation of new measures"

The cost incurred for the national health insurance scheme, Aasandha, will be reduced with the implementation of new steps taken to strengthen the scheme, the President's Office has said.

Speaking at a press conference held Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Miuwan Mohamed acknowledged that the Aasandha scheme, which provides free healthcare to Maldivian citizens, is an expensive system. Miuwan noted that many issues with the Aasandha system had been identified over the years, although no efforts have been made in the past to resolve such problems.

"The government is working to reduce the cost of Aasandha this year," Miuwan said.

The spokesperson added that the relevant agencies are working together to strengthen the country's social security system further. These include Aasandha, NSPA, and Social Council.

"The changes will be implemented soon. Once implemented, the cost of Aasandha will be reduced significantly, and the entire system will be strengthened," he said.

A budget of MVR 1 billion has been allocated for Aasandha for this year. The government has spent MVR 847 million on Aasandha so far this year.