An opposition MP has pleged to spend US$5million on upgrading a healthpost to a hospital in the island of Fokaidhoo in northern Shaviyani Atoll.
MP Ahmed Nashid, the owner of ADK group, which runs the private ADK hospital in Male, is building a 30-bed hospital in Fokaidhoo.
Abdulla Faiz, the managing director of ADK Trade and Shipping, said: “This hospital will also have an ICU, scanning equipment and operation theatres as well.”
Fokaidhoo council has leased a plot of 40,000 squarefeet to the company for 50 years. The hospital is to be completed within three years. Faiz said the hospital is a pledge made by Nashid, the Maldivian Democratic Party MP for the Komandoo constituency.
Nashid had pledged to build an Islamic Shariah’ compliant resort in the constituency during the parliamentary elections. But the project has failed to materialise so far.
Mohamed Rashid, the president of the Fokaidhoo council, called the plan a “blessing.”
“This is the biggest development for this island and this atoll. It is truly a blessing,” he said.
“We have a health post with a general practitioner. But if we need treatment for a more serious disease, we have to go to the hospital in Haa Dhaal Kulhudhuffushi,” he said.
Kulhudhuffushi is the northern population hub and has the only regional hospital in the area. Residents of the northern atolls pay thousands of rufiyaa on transport to obtain medical services at the hospital.
Regional hospitals and island health posts are often understaffed and poorly resourced. Islanders have staged protests over medical negligence that has resulted in deaths.
In January, local media reported that residents of Laamu atoll Maamendhoo and Kunahandhoo along with Raa atoll Kinolhahu carry patients on wheel barrows to the hospital due to broken ambulances.
Rashid said the hospital could add jobs in Fokaidhoo.
“According to the concept the ADK has shown, this hospital would be convenient for three or four of the neighboring atolls. While the hospital will bring many job opportunities, it can also help our students to become health professionals. They could have a good life,” he said.
MPs often spend from their pockets on providing basic services in their constituencies, a practice human rights groups have criticised promotes systems of patronage.