President Abdulla Yameen today inaugurated a US$80 million project for the construction of a multi-specialty tertiary hospital in Hulhumalé by Tree Top Investments.
President Yameen and business tycoon ‘Champa’ Mohamed Moosa placed foundation stones at a groundbreaking ceremony this morning.
Tree Top Investments was formed in 2013 by four prominent local tourism companies – Champa Brothers, Kasa Holdings, Crown Company, and Kuredu Holdings.
In April, Tree Top signed a contract with Turkish company Turmaks Alke for the construction of the 159-bed, six-storey hospital. The expected date for completion is November 11, 2016, with the official opening scheduled for March 1, 2017.
An agreement was also signed with Malaysian company Ramsay Sime Darby for management of the hospital.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, President Yameen expressed gratitude to the local investors and assured the government’s cooperation for businesses that invest in socially beneficial projects.
Tourism pioneer ‘Champa’ Hussain Afeef, a director of Tree Top Investments, said Maldivians would no longer have to travel overseas for medical purposes once the new hospital opens for business.
More than 50,000 Maldivians travel to India each year to seek medical treatment unavailable in the country. A survey conducted by the central bank in December found that 57 percent of Maldivians travel overseas for medical purposes.
Afeef meanwhile revealed that Tree Top purchased land in Hulhumalé at a cost of US$4 million for the hospital and secured US$80 million as loans from the Bank of Maldives and HSBC.
Ramsay Sime Darby has assured Tree Top that the new hospital will become the best in the South Asia region, Afeef said.
Tree Top also plans to send Maldivian nurses and doctors overseas for training in collaboration with the Malaysian company, Afeef said, adding that the four companies hoped to see the hospital fully staffed by local doctors and nurses in the future.
The government-owned Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in the capital is at present the only tertiary hospital in the country. Establishing tertiary hospitals in the north and south to ease the burden on IGMH, which caters to patients travelling from across the country, is a campaign pledge of President Yameen.
The government-owned Hulhumalé Development Corporation (HDC) awarded the contract for the establishment of the tertiary hospital in Hulhumalé in September last year after initial expressions of interest (EOIs) submitted by 10 companies were cancelled. The project was awarded based on advice from the cabinet’s economic council.