Decentralization is key to revolutionizing health sector – President

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said the Administration seeks to transform the healthcare sector through its decentralization policy.

He made the remarks during the ceremony held to inaugurate the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign in the Maldives, officially inaugurated tonight by President Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed at the function held at the National Art Gallery.

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Speaking at the function, President Solih highlighted that centralization had been the primary challenge in providing universal healthcare in the Maldives despite significant improvements in health standards over the past few decades. He stated that the Administration’s answer is the development of the healthcare sector through its decentralization policy, as outlined in its Strategic Action Plan (SAP).

The Administration plans to develop five tertiary hospitals in five regions, while simultaneously establishing quality health care facilities across the country. He said it would reorganize health care provision by enhancing the role of dedicated community health workers who would conduct regular home visits and carry out health check-ups and awareness programmes.

Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals worldwide, accounting for 56 percent of healthcare professionals in the Maldives. Despite the services of 3300 registered nurses across the country, the President stressed that this number is quite less compared to the urgency for their services. He further emphasized the need to train more nurses, especially with the development of new hospitals across the country.

Underscoring affordable housing and childcare as some of the challenges faced by nurses, President Solih said his Administration would seek ways to address these challenges, while also devising a mechanism for nurses with special requirements to work part-time. He further affirmed the role of nurses in providing affordable, inclusive and quality health care and extended his profound gratitude for their benevolent and altruistic services.

Speaking further, the President noted the importance of such initiatives as the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign—especially with the Administration’s priority to enhance the healthcare sector—and thanked the Maldivian Nurses Association, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Maldives Nursing and Midwifery Council for introducing the campaign in the Maldives.

The three-year global campaign, run in collaboration with WHO and the International Council of Nurses from 2018-2020, aims to improve health by raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide.

Nursing Now also seeks to empower nurses to take their place at the heart of tackling 21st Century health challenges and maximize their contribution to achieving Universal Health Coverage.

The official website of the Maldivian Nurses Association was also launched at tonight’s ceremony.

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