Almost 1,200 nursing homes in Mumbai will go on a day-long strike on February 1, to protest the inaction by civic authorities to renew pending registrations.
“Almost 750 nursing homes situated in housing complexes will have to shut down on April 1 as they are still awaiting the registration renewal certificate,” said Dr Rajeev Walavalkar, president, Association of Medical Consultants. According to the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act, it is mandatory for all the nursing homes to be registered every year with the municipal corporation.
In a special general body meeting of the Association held on Sunday, the nursing home owners decided that if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) failed to act by February 15, they would go on an indefinite strike. The day-long token strike on February 1 would be held to draw the BMC’s attention to the problem. “Even the nursing homes which have the registration will be closed down in support of their colleagues,” said Walavalkar.
The registrations are being held up for two reasons; the absence of a separate access for the nursing homes situated in housing societies and the lack of a change of user for nursing homes as mandatory as per the Development Control (DC) Rules, which require that when a residential premise is converted into a medical set up, the user status has to be changed to ‘commercial’ in the BMC records.
Last July, the state assembly cleared an amendment to the DC Rule that state that a separate access for all nursing homes was not necessary. But even then nursing homes have not been granted registration renewal certificates, alleged doctors.
“The BMC should grant a time frame of at least two years and a single window for nursing homes for the change of user for the premises. They should also decide on the premium and penalty and we will comply with that,” said Walavalkar. “We realise the closure of nursing homes will cause problems to the common man, but we are helpless,” said Dr Balkrishna Inamdar, president, Indian Medical Association, Mumbai West Branch.