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Apollo in pact to manage IGMH in Maldives
Source: The Economic Times Edition

CHENNAI: Corporate healthcare major Apollo Hospitals has entered into an agreement with the Republic of Maldives to manage the 280-bed Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male. To bring the hospital to world-class standards, Apollo is required to invest $25 million.

The nature of agreement, valid for a 20-year term, is such that Apollo would run and manage IGMH. This is the first international public-private partnership arrangement which has ever taken place, she sought to point out.

Apollo, which currently has 8,000 beds, plans to touch 15,000 beds. And such a pact stands testimony to global alliances being the way ahead, she said, highlighting the 26 years plus healthcare business that Apollo has been engaged in.

Ms Reddy said simultaneously education would be another focus area. With the global demand for nurses surging, Apollo is also keen to set up schools of nursing and medical institution. For the moment, the emphasis would be to understand the infrastructure needs.

Maldives president Mohammed Nasheed said the IGMH was "gifted" by the Indian government to Maldives as part of the efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries. Seeing that procedures like tendering process, request for proposals and expression of interest were taking too long, it was decided to cut short the bureaucratic hurdles as the agenda was "delivering affordable healthcare to our people," he said.

Mr. Nasheed said his government, which has a blueprint for "good health, education and roof over top," intends to diversify into wellness business by setting up such centres and promoting medical tourism. There is a state-funded health insurance too with the government bridging the gap to improve the delivery mechanism.

Noting that the government spends a substantial amount in sending its people for overseas treatment, he said annually, 5000 patients from Maldives go to India, Sri Lanka and Bangkok to take care of their medical needs.

Mr. Nasheed also said the government is signing up a pact with Tata to promote affordable housing. Tata Housing, another Indian realty company and a Thai company would each be given the task of building 1,000 houses (each house measuring 1,200 sq ft) as part of the agenda to provide 10,000 homes by the next year.

Under the integrated township model, the monthly mortgage cost of each house works out to $250. In effect, a person is allowed to invest only 20 per cent of his income on housing and wherever he is unable to, the government would step in and bear the cost, the Maldives president said.

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