Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) hospital has been officially opened on Sunday.
In a ceremony held this morning, the hospital was opened by the Indian Defence Minister A.K. Anthony who is visiting the Maldives.
Speaking at the ceremony the Indian Defence Minister said that India always maintains a special relationship with the Maldives and acknowledged the historical friendship among the two nations.
“Especially as I am from Kerala, from the northern tip of India, Maldives is a special place. It is much easier for me to come to Maldives than go to Delhi. It takes just 50 minutes to reach Maldives from Trivandrum. If I am to go to Delhi, it takes 3 hours 15 minutes to travel. That’s why Maldives is very close to my heart,” Anthony said.
He said that the two countries can work in collaboration to prevent drug trafficking and to increase maritime security.
The Indian Defence Minister said that the medical officers from the MNDF will permanently work in the MNDF army hospital.
Minister Anthony also pledged further assistance to develop the hospital built with the assistance of the Indian government.
“I assure you that the friendship between India and the Maldives will always remain. The relationship will not ebb,” Indian Defence Minister said.
Speaking at the ceremony held to officially open the army hospital at the building which housed the former ‘Voice of Maldives’, Maldivian Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim said that it had been a dream project of the Indian Defence Minister Anthony and highlighted the work done by the Minister to make his dream a reality.
Nazim said that the hospital would symbolize the friendship between the two nations and acknowledged the assistance received to the hospital by the Indian government.
“India is a country we give precedence in business. Both our countries share similar views and policies in many areas. The strong friendship between the two countries is a golden opportunity to develop that relationship. We are also getting assistance on protection of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and gathering intelligence information,” Nazim said.
He said that the army hospital would cater for the needs of the families of the armed forces and Maldives Police Services, however in the future there is a need to extend it to the Immigration department, the customs and the general public.
While the MNDF military hospital has officially been inaugurated, MNDF informed that many services have already been commenced there as well. In this regard scanning, physiotherapy and many other general consultancies are available, including common illnesses, ENT and dental services.