State budget 2023: Health sector salary increment included

Nurses providing treatment to a child. (Sun file photo / Fayaaz Moosa)

Minister of Finance and Treasury Ibrahim Ameer on Monday said that an increment for the salaries of those working in the health sector has been included in the state budget for 2023.

According to the minister, this is in line with President Ibrahim Mohamed’s assurances that the salaries of health workers will be increased in the coming year.

Minister Ameer presented the budget for 2023 to the Parliament, during which he noted that with the lessons learned from the global pandemic Covid-19, one of the main priorities of the government is the health sector.

Hence, in the proposed state budget for 2023, MVR 5 billion has been dedicated to the sector.

The minister further said decentralization and improving healthcare were ongoing. As part of it, work on developing five tertiary hospitals across the country was underway.

“Under this project, the equipment and services of five hospitals have been improved greatly. The success Kulhudhiffushi Hospital has been attaining proves that these hospitals can operate independently, without needing to rely on the main governance.”

Furthermore, he noted that in comparison with the budget allocated for tertiary hospitals, the amount included for next year will be three times higher. With this, the number of services will increase, as will the standard of the services available.

The budget for 2023 includes upgrading health centers of hospitals in 132 islands.

Noting that the government has established a specialized center for mental illnesses, Minister Ameer revealed that in 2023, work will be done for more such centers in other parts of the country.

He also stressed that the most important asset in health care was human resources.

“Under pay harmonization health sector will be next for pay adjustment. As said by President, plans are included in the budget to execute salary adjustment for health care workers.”

Minister Ameer said that more budget has been allocated for health centers providing 24-hour services in the atolls, and MVR 40.3 million was included to increase human resources.

The proposed state budget for 2023 amounts to MVR 42.7 billion.

As per the government, the main aim of the proposed budget for next year is to bridge the gap with respect to obstructions faced in light of the economic crisis arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the hike in prices of goods in the global market due to the Russia-Ukraine war.