The health centre in the capital’s suburb Vilimalé has been upgraded and reopened as a tertiary hospital.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony yesterday, President Abdulla Yameen said dialysis services will also be available for kidney patients at the new hospital before the end of the year.
The government plans to develop the Vilimalé hospital to the same standard as the the government-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital’s (IGMH) in Malè, Yameen said.
Chairman of the IGMH’s governing board, Dr Abdul Sattar Yousuf, said the health centre was upgraded to offer surgeries, ultra sound scans, x-rays, labour room, and laboratory services.
About 14,000 people reside in Vilimalé, an administrative ward of Malé, a seven-minute ferry ride from the capital.
In his remarks, Yameen referred to the ongoing construction of a multi-specialty hospital in Hulhumalé and reiterated the current administration’s policy of consolidating population in the Greater Malé region.
Sea ambulance services to transfer patients to Malè will also be introduced in Vilimalè this year, Yameen pledged.
Yameen said the government aims to develop IGMH with better facilities and diagnostic services by the end of 2016, noting that the hospital’s management was recently handed over to an autonomous governing board.
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.
Foundation stones were meanwhile laid for the construction of a new mosque in Vilimalé yesterday funded by Amin Construction and Vilimalé MP Ahmed Nihan.
Yameen thanked the owner of Amin Construction, Abdulla Mohamed, and said he hoped to open the mosque next year.
Along with the tertiary hospital and new mosque, Yameen said the third main campaign pledge for Vilimalè was the development of the island’s harbour, which the housing ministry will undertake shortly.
He also revealed plans to authorise the construction of six-storey buildings in Vilimalè before the end of 2015. The limit at present is four floors.
Vilimalè will, however, remain “a model residential city,” he said.