The government-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) set up its first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine on Wednesday.
MRI scans were previously only available at the privately-owned ADK hospital in Malé. Customers often had to wait weeks for appointments.
Speaking at an inauguration ceremony at IGMH, Health Minister Dr Iruthisham Adam said purchasing the state-of-the-art MRI machine cost the government MVR23 million (US$1.4 million).
The health minister said many Maldivians travel overseas for MRI scans each year and millions of rufiyaa are spent from the government’s ‘Aasandha’ health insurance scheme.
The government decided to purchase the MRI machine using state funds after efforts to bring in a machine through foreign assistance proved unsucessful, she said.
She added that funds have also been allocated in the budget to train technicians.
The State Trading Organisation (STO) was tasked with importing the machine and setting it up at the IGHM’s former dialysis centre.
IGMH CEO Farhath Shaheer meanwhile expressed gratitude for assistance provided by the military as well as the state-owned Maldives Road Development Corporation.
According to IGMH, appointments for MRI scans can be made after tomorrow, but services will begin next Friday.