Minivan News: Parliament yesterday passed a bill to bring universal health coverage to Maldivian citizens for the first time in the nation’s history. The bill was submitted by Nolhivaram MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed and unanimously approved by with 72 votes.
“Previously, the public paid for health care and the needy applied for subsidies under the welfare system, or sought assistance from well-connected friends and family,” the President Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair explained. “This bill means a lot.”
According to the bill citizens receive government-sponsored coverage up to Rf100,000 (US$6,500) per year. Zuhair said the bill includes provisions for citizens who require further financial assistance.
Expatriate workers are also eligible for coverage providing their employers pay a upfront fee of Rf1,000 (US$65).
The Aasandha (well-being) program was officially signed at Artificial Beach today with hundreds of Maldivian citizens in attendance.