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BMC relief for errant nursing homes

Private clinics and nursing homes operating from residential buildings that were asked to build separate lifts can breathe easy. Sujit Mahamulkar reports.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2009 02:36 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar

Private clinics and nursing homes operating from residential buildings that were asked to build separate lifts can breathe easy.

The municipal body said it cannot initiate immediate action against them.

The Supreme Court had on April 6 directed clinics and nursing homes operating from residential buildings to build independent staircases or lifts within six months or shut down.

Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak, in a letter to political party leaders meeting for scheduled this week, said: “It is not possible to amend the development control rule in six months to take action against the clinics. However, we need more time to amend the rule.”

There are about 1,200 clinics and nursing homes in the city that have the same entrances or lift as the building residents.

The Supreme Court has directed them to construct separate entrances or lifts after obtaining permission from the civic body.

Sources said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does not want to shut down the private clinics as they help during emergencies like malaria breakout, dengue and calamities like 26/7 deluge.

According to international standards, the city should have 1000:1 ratio between population and hospital beds.

According to Phatak, the city’s population is 1.4 crore and the availability of hospital beds is just 12,000 (against the requirement of 14,000 beds) which are used to treat 30 to 40 per cent patients from the outside city.

This means that the city has a shortage of 2,000 beds.

“The civic body should consider the problems of private clinics and go for favorable amendment in the Development Control rule,” said Tushar Jagtap, the chief convener of Dr Ambedkar Medical Commune India, a doctors’ association.

“Many doctors who run private clinics or nursing homes treat poor patients either free of cost or give concessions,” he added.

Many people from the middle- and upper-middle class prefer private clinics to costly private hospitals.

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