Shortage of anesthesiologists prompts pay hike

A laparoscopy surgery underway. (Photo/Healthline)

The shortage of anesthesiologists at Maldivian hospitals has prompted a hike in their salaries.

Hospitals located at GA. Atoll, GDh. Atoll, M. Atoll and L. Atoll are facing challenges to carry out surgeries due to the lack of anesthesiologists. Some regional and atoll hospitals have had to stop surgeries completely.

According to a Health Ministry official who spoke to Sun, a decision has been made with Finance Ministry to increase the salary of anesthesiologists. However, she stated that the decision is not permanent and an alternate permanent solution is being sought out.

 “At the moment, we are in need of 10 anesthesiologists to work at atoll and regional hospitals. We are currently vetting and interviewing eight anesthesiologists for the positions,” she said

While speaking to Sun, Senior Customer Relations Officer of Dr. Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital in GDh. Thinadhoo, Salim Ali, said that due to the lack of anesthesiologists the hospital has stopped operating and patients in need of surgeries are sent to Male’ city.

“This hospital does not have an anesthesiologist at the moment. We are unable to carry out surgeries. We have to send patients to Male’ city,” Salim said.

The current salary of an anesthesiologist in Maldives is approximately MVR 39,000 per month.

R. Ungoofaaru Regional Hospital also does not have an anesthesiologist.

The hospital said that as more than 500 patients visit the hospital per day, it is imperative to hire an in-house anesthesiologist.

Both the hospitals, quoting the Health Ministry, said that it is difficult to get anesthesiologists compared to doctors of other fields at hospitals abroad as well.

Many doctors highlight that anesthesiologists do not receive an appropriate salary and this may be a reason why they are difficult to hire. However, offering a higher salary is expected to attract anesthesiologists.