Most resorts in Maldives do not have an in-house doctor to provide medical care to the staff. Hence being able to come to Male’ to seek medical services is relatively hassle-free in most resorts (the ones which are close to Male’). However there are those resorts which are relatively close to Male’ (the capital city) which has in-house doctors in residence and has inconceivably insensitive procedures for the staff to seek medical attention. Consider this new medical policy of a resort.
The steps involved in being able to show to doc.
- notify your supervisor
- supervisor to fill a form
- the patient to retrieve the form from supervisor’s office and go to doc
- the doc checks the patient
- the doc may or may not refer the patient to a hospital in Male
Of course this new policy is only applicable for the lower ranking staff and the doctor has always to be available for higher ranking staff. The policy is said to have come as a result of perceived abuse of the system by the workers which is understandable. However to overcome abuse in a system, a resort does not have to be insensitive to everyone. Those who are known to abuse the system could be straitened instead of being punitive to all. Lets go through all the steps in the procedure.
- To notify to the supervisor: This is requires convincing the supervisor with ailment and symptoms that affect the worker. Having to divulge what ails the worker to others before doc is bad enough and is rightly adding insult to injury. Given a choice most human beings would not like to divulge their medical problems to others than their medical practitioners. However when a resort requires the workers to do just exactly this, it shows how insensitive a resort can be to staff.
- Supervisor to fill a form: This is another layer of work to already work-overloaded supervisors which means delays and further red-tape between the sick staff and his/her treatment. Frequently, the supervisors have innumerable meetings and trainings so the sick staff having to depend on his/her busy supervisor to fill documentation for him/ her is needlessly cruel.
- The patient to retrieve the form from supervisor’s office and go to doc: When a person is sick, and he/she has to undergo the indignity of having to divulge his ailment to ‘a superior’, after which he/she has to wait for the documentation to be prepared, after all this he/she has to go and find the supervisor wherever he or she maybe to retrieve those same documents and then again go to meet the doc who resides in another island… The steps are far too long and far too demanding of the sick. Just indicative of how evil a policy can be when it comes to lower ranking staff.
- The doc: The doc is also a staff in the pay of the employer and its not uncommon for the the doc to be pressured not to issue ‘bed rests’ or any kind of rests to the staff to lengthen the time staff are required to work. Further the doc frequently is instructed not to refer the patients to further treatment at Male’ to save the employer money and to keep the worker at job despite his health.
When mentioned out sourcing the media would have most of us associate it with Microsoft, India, cheap labor etc.. However outsourcing is quite prevalent in our resorts although we do not seem to apply the name as such. There are both many benefits of this as well as questions about some aspects of it. Some examples we can easily identify are:
1.Diving school outsourcing. This is very common in resorts and seems to be the viable option as resorts trying to do this by themselves find themselves quite overwhelmed with the demands of running the whole show.
2.Guest shop. This is also one more trend that is catching up with the resorts as more and more shop companies are offering attractive proposals to resorts struggling with an unimaginative shop with an equally unimaginative concept to sell pricey nothings to wearied guests.
3.Guest relations. In some resorts there are dedicated tour guides or Guest Relations Officers (GROs) who are ordinary human beings less than a manager and a slight bit higher in position than the front office staff and are customarily required to be multilingual. However there is a growing trend to outsource this department to the water sports people.
4.Animators. This seems to be the domain of the fun loving Italians and they may hire this talent from guests as part of their package holiday deal.
5.Doctors. Although there are quite a few number of resorts with a doctor-in-house, some resorts did indeed outsource this job with an understanding with medical institutes, universities from where doctors arrive as guests and makes themselves available for service to other guests as well, in a discounted holiday deal.
6.Inspectors. Although most resorts do their own inspections with company big shots as the inspectors, some resorts send anonymous inspectors to the resorts as paid guests. These paid inspectors make detailed observations of all guest areas and guest services and submit their report to the person who commissioned the work after their departure and vanishes in to the thin air there after. This is very effective in keeping everyone including managers and the whole resort in its best form as nobody seems to know when the gestapo arrives.
7.Friday Imam. A local imam is hired and brought to resort for Friday sermon from nearby islands or from Male’ to lead the faithful in the Friday prayers. This is good public relations thing with the islands as people of the islands appreciate their usefulness to the otherwise useless nearby resort..
8.Supply department. This is one department resorts shall disown sooner than later for their own good. Local suppliers specializing in resort supplies are better able to do this because they have many advantages over resort employed supply personnel such as local market knowledge, the sense that their success depends on a satisfied resort etc etc. . The way to go about is to go gradually and to build on trust. Better still to equip a capable honest agent based in Male’ and to start a “supply relationship”.
9.Power house. This is also a trend that is there but does not seem to move fast enough. Part of the problem is the lack of capable engineering firms in Male’ or in the nearby vicinity of the island as the existing engineering firms are saturated with contracted commitments to service resorts for a nominal monthly fee. The terms of the commitment would include a nominal monthly fee regardless of whatever happens in the resort vis-avis the generator sets and special discounted terms to service yearly or biannual major overhauls of the systems etc.
10.Launch Section. Operating a “Launch section” is costly business and resorts are aware of this. It would involve a capable workshop to handle marine engines both inboard and outboard, the engineering people well versed in this special type of engineering as well as a sizable army of captains and crews, facilitators and a one more manager to the management elite group. Despite the costliness of this operation, several resorts have their own Launch Sections thanks to the few number of firms capable of catering for the constant but erratic travel needs of the resorts.
11.Insect and Pest Controllers. Some of our resorts fight the endless, thankless job of controlling the pests and other insects with sprayers, fog machines, traps and a range of chemicals and devices every day of the year all year round. Most resorts as of yet do a d.i.y (do it yourself) job of this as there are very few firms providing this service in resorts in Male’ or Maldives.
12.Fire fighting infrastructure. Fire fighting equipment and systems are not the domain of everyday people as they are subjected to stricter rules or the insurance companies will take a flight from responsibility when unfortunate things happens… A couple of firms are available to provide the required services in this field and resorts are having to do with whatever is available in the market and curb their demands. There is strong need for competition in this field.
13.Landscaping.. same as above. But landscaping is normally required at the beginning of a resorts life after which an army of homegrown professionals take over. 2 known companies provide this service.