The government has made the decision to close down Hithadhoo Regional Hospital in southernmost Addu city when the Equatorial Hospital being established in the city is operational.
In a letter sent by Aminath Shauna, the Policy Secretary of the President's Office addressed to Health Minister Abdulla Ameen, all services available from Hithadhoo Regional Hospital will be transferred to the Equatorial Hospital.
The decision is a good administrative step as budget has to be issued to the hospital if services are provided at the Regional Hospital. The government's decision to transfer services to the new hospital will avoid the costs.
The administration intends to open and provide services from the 100-bed tertiary hospital in Addu City at the earliest. Although the regional hospital will be closed, the letter sent by the policy secretary did not mention a date on which the hospital will cease its services, and when the Equatorial Hospital will begin operation.
All machines and equipment except a MRI machine have already been set-up at the Equatorial Hospital. Currently, troubleshooting kinks noticed during the set-up of the machines are ongoing.
A convention centre was specially built in Hithadhoo, Addu City during the tenure of former President Mohamed Nasheed for the 17th SAARC Summit hosted by Maldives in November 2011. Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom during his administration made the decision to convert the convention centre into a state-of-the-art 100 bed hospital. The project contracted to Alia Construction in November 2016 was completed and handed over to the government in September. The government is currently making final preparations to open the hospital. According to the Health Ministry, 25 specialists, 11 medical officers and 73 nurses are already employed at the facility.
The Health Ministry had previously stated that services such as inpatient services, emergencies and operations as well as labour will be continued at the regional hospital despite the opening of the Equatorial Hospital