The Tree Top Hospital has terminated its management agreement with Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care after just eight months.
The investment company of local tourism giants that owns the hospital “mutually agreed” to part ways with the foreign management and took over hospital operations on November 1.
“Tree Top Hospital will continue to deliver and fulfil the vision for excellence in healthcare in the Maldives. The management of Tree Top Hospital ensures quality services at competitive rates and Aasandha coverage,” the hospital said in a statement.
The reasons for terminating the agreement were not disclosed.
Citing losses, the state-of-the-art hospital in Hulhumalé recently abolished some departments and laid off staff to cut costs.
Developed at a cost of US$110 million, the 159-bed multi-speciality hospital was opened in March under the management of Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare, a joint venture formed between a Malaysian multinational and Australia’s largest private hospital group.
The state health insurance Aasandha only covered admissions when the hospital opened but was made available for all services in September.
After the opening, tourism pioneer ‘Champa’ Hussain Afeef said the investors “wanted to stop Maldivians from having to go abroad to consult doctors. They won’t have to bear the cost of renting houses abroad after this.”
Thousands of Maldivians go abroad each year to seek medical treatment unavailable in the country. But the proportion of Maldivians travelling for medical services declined to 45 percent in 2017, the central bank’s annual survey found.
The hospital opening prompted debates among Maldivians on social media, with some comparing its fee to the cost of travelling to a neighbouring country while others accused the resort oligarchs of trying to profit from healthcare.
The four founding firms of Tree Top Investments are Champa Brothers, Kasa Holdings, Crown Company, and Kuredu Holdings.