Aasandha Company Limited has warned that the cost of receiving treatment at private hospitals and clinics are rising and that there are currently no means of controlling the prices.
The national health insurance scheme was established for citizens to easily receive healthcare services. As such, patients are not required to directly pay for treatment at government hospitals and health centres under the insurance scheme. However, receiving appointments at government hospitals in the Greater Male’ Region has become difficult and individuals are required to wait in long queues. It has resulted in many citizens having to go to private hospitals and clinics to receive healthcare services and treatment faster.
Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs summoned officials of Aasandha and the National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) to address public concern over the issue. At the meeting, the Managing Director of Aasandha Mariyam Shafeeq said the insurance scheme still does not have broad coverage. She identified challenges to solving the issue and said that discussions have taken place with private hospitals to extend broader Aasandha coverage for major operations.
She highlighted the main issue is the failure to review the price changes made at private institutions, and that a price control mechanism needs to be introduced in the Maldives. She also said there are issues in covering treatment for specific illnesses, such as operations for motor neuron diseases, and that the company has repeatedly asked for the support of private clinics in fixing this issue.