While the Maldivian government removed three ministers for anti-India remarks, the India-Maldives dispute has left people on the island nation concerned. Here is why.
What began as an online battle has escalated into a full-fledged diplomatic row between India and the Maldives. A few Maldives ministers made offensive remarks against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he promoted Lakshadweep as a tourist destination. What followed was a call by Indians to boycott the Maldives for tourism, and the Indian government eventually raised the issue with the government in Male. The Maldives government removed three deputy ministers for making disparaging remarks, causing concern among the island nation’s citizens. Reason: Indians account for a sizable portion of the Maldives’ tourism-driven economy, and India is the most popular destination for medical tourism among Maldivians.
Many Maldivians took to X to criticize their ministers for jeopardizing the country’s relations with a key neighbour like India. Some were also concerned about their upcoming medical trips to India.
The Indian government even raised this issue with the Male government, and three deputy ministers were suspended for their offensive remarks on social media. However, many Maldivians are concerned about their health and healthcare in light of the ongoing diplomatic row between India and the Maldives. This is due to the long history of Maldivians visiting India for medical tourism. India is a popular destination for medical treatments and consultations.
Many Maldivians concerned about their upcoming medical trip to India took to X to criticize their ministers for jeopardizing diplomatic relations with a key neighbour like India. According to a BMC Health Services Research study, India is the Maldivians’ preferred destination for medical treatment. A whopping 98 percent of Maldivians preferred India over Sri Lanka for medical tourism due to affordability, familiarity, and proximity.
Maldivians travel to India for advanced medical facilities such as cancer treatment and complex heart surgeries, which the Maldives’ current healthcare infrastructure cannot provide. Most importantly, India offers world-class medical facilities, hospitals, and doctors at a fraction of the cost of other countries.
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