Pro-government Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) leader and Kendhoo constituency MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali today said that DRP does not support the withdrawal of Maldives from the Commonwealth and the ceasing of national health insurance scheme 'Aasandha' from private hospitals.
During a press conference held in his residence, Thasmeen stressed that withdrawing the country from the Commonwealth would not benefit the nation or its people.
"It is irresponsible to entertain the idea and debate on withdrawing from the Commonwealth at this point in time. That would have adverse effects on the Maldives," Thasmeen said referring to the bill submitted to the Parliament by Vilufushi constituency MP Riyaz Rasheed and Gemanafushi constituency MP Ilham Ahmed to withdraw Maldives from Commonwealth membership.
Thasmeen further added that there were opposing views of DRP with regard to Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) statement which had called on the government to revise the composition of the National Enquiry Commission established to probe the events that led to the transfer of power on February 7.
He highlighted there were 'grey areas' in the CMAG's statement.
However, Thasmeen stressed that in matters where there are divergence of opinions, it was 'irresponsble' to make decisions without dialogue.
He revealed that prior to the submission of the bill, neither the MP's who had submitted the bill nor the parties the members represented had discussed the issue with DRP.
In relation to Aasandha, Thasmeen said that the decisions taken by the Parliament's Finance Committee with regard to amendments to the implementation of the national health insurance scheme was not the right way to go about making such decisions.
To that end, he claimed that the role played by the Parliament to ensure the accountability of the government would be seriously undermined by such actions.
Thasmeen added even if amendments to the implementation of Aasandha is made, free health care service being provided to the people under the scheme must not be hindered or ceased.
He also said that his party does not support the report of the Finance Committee forwarded to the Parliament floor proposing the revisions to Aasandha.
As the budget allocated for the national health insurance scheme Aasandha would not be sufficient to cover its expenses for the year, the Finance Committee had decided to cease its services being provided from private hospitals.
The service has already been discontinued from private clinics earlier.
If the Parliament floor endorses the proposed changes to Aasandha by the Finance Committee, patients would be only able to obtain medical services from ADK, IMDC in Addu and other such private medical institutions only after approval by a doctor of Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).