President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that universal health insurance scheme of Maldives 'Aasandha' has been tainted with corruption despite providing free health care services to the people of Maldives.
Speaking at the ceremony held to launch the Past Health Minister's Summit on Thursday, President Solih said it is unacceptable that acts of corruption are taking place by misusing the provision of free health care to the people of the nation.
"While the state is providing free health care, Aasandha has become susceptible to corruption. Due to this, a huge amount of state funds are being wasted", said President Solih.
While The President did not go into detail of his claim, a recent audit report on Aasandha raised several reg flags on corruption within the public-private partnership.
The President said the collective effort and assistance of the general public is necessary to put a stop to such acts.
Noting that a new insurance scheme has been introduced for Maldivians residing in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India, President Solih urged all parties to be responsible in making use of the scheme.
President further acknowledged that while the healthcare system of Maldives had advanced, neither the complaints of the people nor the challenges faced in the field had decreased.
"Some of the biggest complaints of the people is the lack of adequate health care available at their local islands, being wait-listed for days on end to consult a specialist, the lack of trained and experienced personnel in the health care field, the sale of low quality medicines", said President Solih.
The president attributed the many challenges faced when addressing any of these complaints to attempting to develop the country through a centralized system. The development of hospital in capital Male' region by the former government, instead of developing the health centers in the islands has resulted in islanders having to travel to Male' every time a consultation is needed, or an investigation has to be carried out.
"This then results in IGMH having to serve more people than it can cater to. The system has always been organized in such a way that the people of the country will be burdened, in way that they are forced to spend beyond their means, These are issues that we have to discuss and seek a solution for", said President Solih.
The president further lamented that there are challenges in providing adequate healthcare all over Maldives, with the procurement of basic items such as Panadol pills and IVs are made complicated through difficult processes. The president is determined to ease the suffering of the people to ensure that they are able to live a comfortable life, pledged the president.