BMC, SevenHills Hospital to sort out pact | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC, SevenHills Hospital to sort out pact

The 17 acre plot off the arterial Military Road in Andheri’s Marol area was reserved for a civic cancer hospital. Construction of the hospital began in 1999, but in 2005 the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) abandoned the project for paucity of funds.

mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2010 02:18 IST
Sai Raje Sai Raje Sai Raje

The 17 acre plot off the arterial Military Road in Andheri’s Marol area was reserved for a civic cancer hospital. Construction of the hospital began in 1999, but in 2005 the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) abandoned the project for paucity of funds.

On July 4, President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the swanky 11-storey, super-specialty SevenHills Hospital.

In theory, the SevenHills Hospital, the city’s first experiment with a public-private partnership in the public health sector was a masterstroke by the cash-strapped civic body. But in practice, the partnership has witnessed more than just teething troubles.

According to the 2005 agreement, the BMC gave the SevenHills Group the Marol land on a 60-year lease on the condition that it paid a rent of Rs 10.41 crore every ten years. The current market price of the plot is about Rs 500 crore according to real estate experts.

In return, the SevenHills Group was to reserve 20 per cent of hospital beds for cases referred to them by public hospitals and these patients were be charged BMC rates for treatment.

SevenHills has reserved 300 beds, which is 20 per cent of the total 1,500 beds, for referred patients holding ration cards that are yellow(below poverty line) or orange(annual income below Rs 1lakh) in colour. “We don’t like that a separate floor is being allocated to BMC patients. It’s like an isolated ward,” said Yashodhar Phanse, a Shiv Sena corporator.

The BMC is also alleging that the hospital misread the agreement to reserve beds only in the general ward and none in the critical care sections such as the Intensive Care Unit. “The 2005 agreement was silent on critical wards, which left it open to interpretation. A referred patient requiring intensive care will have to be kept in the ICU and charged at BMC rates,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, BMC’s additional municipal commissioner.

The issues are likely to be thrashed out on July 12, when the parties come together to draw up the Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the 2005 agreement.