Indian Navy to provide doctors to Maldives

February 26th, 2009 - 2:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The Indian Navy will provide around 30 doctors on a temporary basis to the Maldives following a request made by President Mohamed Nasheed to Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, an official said Thursday.
President Nasheed has asked Mehta, who is visiting the Maldives, to provide doctors on a temporary basis to work at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male.

“The navy chief had received the request and it has been accepted. The navy will now forward the request to the government to take a decision,” a navy official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Maldives has shared long-standing ties with India and has been an important member of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).

“Indian doctors will work both in IGMH and in different districts throughout the Maldives,” the president’s office press secretary Mohamed Zuhair said Wednesday.

President Nasheed said that he made the request with the objective of providing relief to the long queues of patients waiting for treatment and consultations.

Speaking at the news conference held at President Nasheed’s office Wednesday, Mehta said the Indian Navy can accommodate the president’s request and that efforts will be made to fulfil the request in the coming days.

Mehta said top priority would be given to the matter as it was of humanitarian nature and that further details will be provided once all arrangements are in place. He said just as India stood by Maldives in national emergencies, will do so in future.

“To provide 20 or so doctors, to work for 30 or so days is something the Indian Navy can do,” said the admiral.

Mehta was on a four-day visit of the Maldives from Feb 21-25 for talks on maritime security with the leaders of the island nation.

Mehta also called on the Maldives’ Minister for Defence and National Security Ameen Faisal, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Shaheed and Chief of Defence Staff Mossa M. Zalil.

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