The Maldives and China have signed a letter of exchange to conduct a feasibility study and other essential assessments for the proposed 100-bed hospital in Villimalé. The document was signed on Wednesday by Minister of Construction and Infrastructure Abdulla Muththalib and Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin.

Muththalib, in an interview with the public broadcaster PSM, said the comprehensive study will determine the project timeline, design, and equipment needed for the hospital.

A team from China is expected to arrive in the Maldives soon to conduct the feasibility studies, said Muththalib, with the aim of mobilising the project later this year or early next year. “The project is expected to be completed within two years from the start date,” he said.

Minister of Health Abdulla Khaleel, speaking to the public broadcaster, revealed that the proposed hospital will introduce new services in the Maldives, catering to the elderly, those with terminal illnesses, and individuals with chronic wounds and decompression sickness.

The hospital’s location in Villimalé was strategically chosen due to the island’s growing population and in anticipation of the population of Gulhifalhu, said Khaleel. He emphasised that the hospital will be entirely environmentally friendly and have a unique design and equipment.

Villimalé currently has a small hospital with limited capacity, and emergency patients are transferred to Malé for treatment. With a population of 15,000 residents, the proposed 100-bed hospital is expected to enhance healthcare services in the island district.