The Bombay high court expressed hope that municipal commissioner will step in and resolve the issue regarding granting of full Occupation Certificate to Seven Hills Healthcare Private Limited (SHHPL) multi-specialty hospital.
A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice RM Sawant made the observation while hearing a petition filed by SHHPL, challenging a notice issued by the civic body. "It is a matter of treatment of patients. You should work it out," the court told both the parties.
Advocate Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, who was appearing for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said that the hospital should adhere to the tender conditions while including 20% bed for poor patients, and providing free medicines and medicines at concessional rates to poor patients. "Twenty per cent of the hospital should function like a BMC hospital," he said.
The court pointed out that compared to civic body-run hospitals, SevenHills might be providing better facilities.
Senior counsel and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was appearing for the hospital, said that they are providing 20%, including OPD and diagnostic facilities. But we can not provide medicines as contemplated by BMC, he said.
Kumbhakoni also suggested that the hospital can have a shop where medicines can be provided at discounted rates. He also said that medicines from Schedule 1 to 15 are given free and the rest at concessional rates in a municipal hospital.
The director of medical education and dean of KEM Hospital, Sanjay Oak, filed an affidavit stating that the petitioner is legally bound to follow the same method and manner of providing treatment as is done in a municipal hospital.
The affidavit also states that the petitioner has refused to execute the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and sign the lease deed. Singhvi, however, said that they have been urging BMC to sign the MoU for the last four years.
BMC lawyer Preeti Purandhare contended that the tender conditions stated that the hospital needs to provide free medicines. The court, however, said that it seems the civic body was withholding the OC without any reason. "You are a public body. To expect everything free is contradictory to your agreement," the court said.