The administration will work to make Aasandha services available in more countries, President Mohamed Muizzu has confirmed.

The government’s health scheme, Aasandha, currently allows Maldivians to obtain services not available locally from hospitals in neighbouring India and Sri Lanka.

Speaking to the media at Velana International Airport upon his arrival in the Maldives after completing his official visit to China, the President said that he is working to arrange services to be available in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

We don’t want Aasandha services to be limited to facilities that are available in certain countries, but rather look for countries which offer better quality services [that fit patients] such as the UAE and Thailand.

President Mohamed Muizzu explaining the administration’s push to expand Aasandha services to include countries which may offer care more specific to patient needs rather than patients making do with facilities available at current Aasandha service provider facilities.

Muizzu said he is working to provide Aasandha services in these countries, including covering accommodation expenses.

While the President did not single out any one country specifically, he made the announcement shortly after noting that the previous administration had relied too heavily on a particular nation. A reference, most observers believe, meant to point to India — while in opposition, figures in the current administration singled out India as having a strong influence over the Ibrahim Mohamed Solih-led administration.

President Muizzu’s visit to China ended on Friday. During the visit, 20 agreements were signed between the Maldives and China. Major agreements include, among others, one to promote Maldives tourism and another to establish basic road infrastructure and utilities at Gulhifalhu, Giraavaru, and Ras Malé.