Maldivians living in Malaysia who are enrolled in the Meranaa health scheme will soon no longer have to pay out of pocket medical expenses as an agreement has been signed to address this shortcoming, Mohamed Aslam, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s running mate, has announced.

Previously under the Meranaa scheme users had to pay for expenses out of pocket and then were reimbursed within 60 days of submitting medical bills from approved institutions. The scheme covers expenses of up to MVR 150,000 per annum.

During  a campaign event held in Malaysia on Sunday, Aslam said the agreement had been signed with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) to provide a service similar to local health insurance services in Malaysia.

With the agreement signed, once service providers are onboard, Meranaa will provide cashless access to treatment at more than 170 hospitals in Malaysia, Aslam said.

Speaking to the concerns of the Maldivian community in Malaysia, Aslam further noted that the difficulty in obtaining visas will be resolved and the US dollar supply shortage addressed.

“The stipend of US$400 for students in Malaysia has not changed for many years. I assure you that it will soon be addressed with an adequate stipend [reflected] in the 2024 budget. We hope to see an increase of at least 25 percent,” Aslam said. The MDP government has solved the education concerns of many families, he said as he went on to convey what he had seen, during his campaign trail, as significant national issues addressed by the MDP government.