The Maldives Lured Tourists Back. Now It Needs Nurses.

The island nation kept Covid cases low and its resorts open to much of the pandemic. However, a recent surge has shown that it is overly dependent on health workers overseas. MALÉ, Maldives - The largest Covid-19 treatment facility in the Maldives has almost 300 beds and a constant supply of oxygen. But like the country some of ...

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The island nation kept Covid cases low for much of the pandemic and kept its resorts open. But a recent surge has shown its over-reliance on overseas health workers.

MALÉ, Maldives - The largest Covid-19 treatment facility in the Maldives has almost 300 beds and a constant supply of oxygen. But as the country reports, some of the highest case numbers per capita in the world Last month the Covid wards ran out of another important resource: employees.


"In the worst case, we had a nurse who took 20 patients general wards. “, Said Mariya Saeed, the director of the Hulhumalé medical facility in Malé, the capital. "We needed staff to adequately care for the many bedridden elderly people, but the nurses were exhausted."

The pandemic has led to a shortage of health workers worldwide and is forcing governments to critisize. Spain for example started an emergency plan last year to recruit medical students and retired doctors for the Covid service. And in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month asked local officials to Recruiting medical students in their final year of study .

But the Maldives, an archipelago with around 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, are facing unique challenges. It cannot easily pull in masses of students because it only has one university with one medical school. And it cannot only rely on its citizens, as its health system is heavily dependent on foreign workers. Many of these doctors and nurses are from India, a country that is faced its own gigantic outbreak .

The Hulhumalé medical facility in Malé, g e shown in another picture of the government turned to volunteers to help with patient care. Health Emergency Center

A result is that the Maldives, which otherwise fought the pandemic with great attention to detail, is not sure how to occupy its hospitals for the next crisis.

"We have ...

Read original at The New York Times | World

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