The Maldives National University will offer medical degree courses for the first time in 2018 with assistance from the Pakistani government, Health Minister Abdulla Nazim has pledged.
Briefing the press together with the Pakistan ambassador last Wednesday about plans to establish the first national medical college, Nazim said US$5 million provided by Pakistan as grant aid will be used for a laboratory and medical equipment.
“We thought of setting up facilities within the national university for teaching even if there’s no big building when we start out,” he was quoted as saying.
At least 50 students will be needed for the first batch, Nazim said, assuring that the maiden MBBS programme will meet international standards. The medical college will be established at a later date, he said.
A two-month study conducted by a Pakistani professor earlier this year determined that a medical college could be feasible in the Maldives, he noted.
Speaking at the press conference, Professor Tipu Sultan said he found that about 200 Maldivian students were pursuing MBBS degrees in seven countries across the world.
Nazim meanwhile announced that the government has also decided to offer internship opportunities at IGMH for Maldivian students studying medicine overseas.
Plans for the medical college were announced in July during an official visit by former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
A steering committee comprised of the health ministry, the government-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, the national university, the finance ministry, the education ministry, the Maldives Qualification Authority, and the Maldives Medical and Dental Council has since been formed to oversee the medical college project.
Nazim said efforts are underway to draft the curriculum and set course fees and remuneration for lecturers.