In a bid to reach out to the middle class in Mumbai, the civic body plans to start ‘private wards’ in three civic hospitals by next year. The plan was discussed at a meeting with chief secretary Jayant Banthia and members of Bombay First, a conglomerate of corporates that supports and sponsors issues related to Mumbai, on Wednesday.
“The middle class is very uncomfortable at civic hospitals. They consider our [hospital] wards overcrowded and the [admission] procedures tedious. We want to cater to these people, too. We will moot the idea during the planning for next year’s budget,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The state-run JJ Hospital, Byculla, has a nursing home for patients who can afford to pay, whole the state-run Podar Hospital at Worli has rooms for panchakarma treatment for those who can afford it, but civic hospitals have no such sections.
The ‘private facility’ will involve reasonable costs, but will not be as expensive as private hospitals. “The middle class cannot afford private corporate hospitals. Our wards will cater to them,” said Mhaiskar. She also mooted the idea of budget hospitals in the city.