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“Eating on Duty”

As in all aspects of life, we’ve come a long way when it comes to waiting it out at hospitals. Gone are the days when we had no option but to prepare meals at home for loved ones admitted in hospital, or if working there, go home to eat. 

With today’s bustling rushed life, we are lucky to find convenient ways to provide food for patients. More so with smaller families and those who are not resident on the same island, who have neither the people nor the facilities to provide home-cooked food, and deliver it to the patient.

This also goes for the medical and support staff at hospitals, who need to find something close at hand to keep the hunger at bay, as leisurely breaks are not part of the busy work schedules. And as for the staff working night shifts, it is absolutely crucial that food outlets operate round the clock.

IGMH

I had a look around at the food outlets at the two busiest hospitals in Male’ City, Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), and ADK Hospital. IGMH being the largest establishment, also had the most options. The Sunset Café is open 24/7 and provides a large variety of meals, from breakfast favourites such as roshi and mashuni, and rice, pasta, noodles dishes for lunch, to sandwiches, cakes and pastries, with tea, coffee and several cold drinks. Coconut water is also always available, and often required by patients. The introduction of fruit cups is very welcome, as people are often on the lookout for healthier options. And the best thing is that they deliver all orders straight to the bedside, for the convenience of patients and attendees alike. 

But those who require a break from the sights of the hospital, but cannot stray too far, the Sunset Café has a comfortable air-conditioned seating area. While they also have the option to sit in the garden area, with a view of the sea and Villingili.

Another outlet, Frutars, is located right outside the ground floor entrance to all the wards. Without any seating and selling only take-away food, Frutars may not serve full-scale meals, but provides a wide range of salads, burgers and wraps, as well as pizza and numerous short-eats. Yoghurt, too. And as those battling sleep or thirst would appreciate, they also serve a range of coffee, milkshakes, smoothies and fruit juices. 

Here too, the ready-packed fruit and drinks are an additional convenience for patients, visitors and staff alike, as they can just purchase whatever needed and return to where they need to be.

Meanwhile, the Lui Buin Lite outlet in the garden opposite the physiotherapy department is a welcome refreshment spot for those admitted at the hospital but encouraged to be more mobile, and their attendees. In close vicinity to doctors’ consultation rooms, it is also a handy place for out-patients whiling the time away in queues.

 With a few tables in the small garden, the café serves up a wide range of hot and cold drinks, from coffee to fruit frappes, mojitos and lassi. And in addition to a selection of sandwiches and pastries, Lui Buin Lite provides ice-cream, the perfect answer to cope with the heat. And all from 7.30 in the morning till midnight.

ADK

Next stop, ADK Hospital. The establishment’s Food Corner has been serving up food and drinks for years, and you often see waiters rushing through the corridors, bearing trays destined for patients or attendees alike. 

Food Corner has seen few changes over the years, but the emphasis remains on providing freshly cooked meals, snacks and drinks for whoever needs to stick around the hospital for hours. Mind you, it is also a welcome café for those passing by or looking for an alternative. Now located right by the entrance to the hospital, the café occupies the ground floor and 1st floor, ensuring plenty of seating.

Food Corner has plenty of options on their menu, with hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, pastries, rice dishes, and various cakes too. Something for just about every taste.

Hulhumale Hospital

Across the bridge, we found that Hulhumale Hospital does not have any food outlets within the premises, although there are plenty of options nearby, with cafes across the street, or in the Centro Mall just a few yards away. Unfortunately none of these places are open 24/7 so it’s best to have something handy in case of late night hunger pains.

Tree Top Hospital

When it comes to the Tree Top Hospital in Hulhumale, Bread Matters Lite is right adjacent to it, and accessible through the hospital too. Open from 8 in the morning till 10pm, the restaurant is cool, comfortable, and spacious, a luxury you don’t often experience in the Maldives.

The hospital is located in a relatively quiet and deserted area, so there is a demand for a restaurant which can provide a wide range of food and drinks. And Bread Matters Lite does precisely that, with a great variety of hot and cold drinks, salads and light snacks, and getting as serious as Singapore chicken rice and Biriyani. 

Let’s face it. None of us choose to spend time at hospitals. But when it is unavoidable, it is a comfort at least, to know that you don’t have to worry about missing meal times while you are there. 

Wishing you all good health!

Words by Fasah Ahmed

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