Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) began work to expand Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital, the biggest health facility established in the north.
The state contracted this project over to MTCC for MVR 30 million, tied with a deadline of six months.
The agreement stipulates constructing a two-storey hospital ward with the capacity to serve 30 beds. In addition, MTCC is to revamp the OPD area, by connecting the administrative buildings to Ufan Hiyaa via a walkway and relocating the laboratory services to Ufan Hiyaa, whilst the construction of the new laboratory is underway.
At the beginning of the year, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had announced that the state plans to establish a new hospital in Kulhudhuffushi.
According to him, the new building was required because present facilities lacked the capacity to be developed into a tertiary hospital. The president also noted providing tertiary health facilities to the island was an electoral pledge, and therefore remained a goal of his administration.
Highlighting that the new Kulhudhuffushi Hospital would provide services not only to the people from the island, President Solih said that the state had a plan to ensure the hospital's services would be accessible to all north-based islanders.
At present, residents from Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu and Shaviyani already frequent Kulhudhuffushi often for medical treatment unavailable in their home islands.
However, over the past years, complaints that the hospital's services were inadequate, and continue to deteriorate further, have increased significantly.
During former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration, India's Noorul Islam Institute of Medical Science (NIMS) was contracted to run the facility as a tertiary hospital, via the joint venture Noorul Islam International Pvt Ltd, for a period of 50 years.
However, the agreement was terminated over to a dispute between two shareholders of the company, resulting in the Ministry of Health having to take over Kulhudhuffushi Hospital's operations.