While hearing a petition moved by the Seven Hills Healthcare Private Limited (SHHPL) challenging a notice issued by the civic body asking them to vacate nearly 7-acre premises allotted for running the multi-specialty Seven Hills Hospital in Marol, Andheri, the Bombay high court on Friday said that free medical aid is more important than free legal aid. The hospital is also seeking a full occupancy certificate from the corporation.
"No poor man should suffer for lack of medical aid," a division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice RM Sawant said. Appearing for the civic body, advocate Ashutosh Kumbhakoni said that the hospital should act strictly in accordance with the tender conditions, by keeping aside 20% bed for poor patients, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) employees and corporators as contemplated under the tender.
Kumbhakoni argued that 20% of the hospital should function at par with the municipal hospitals. The hospital, however, reasoned that drugs and injections are expensive as some injections costs as much as Rs16,000 and even in a BMC-run hospital, treatment is not completely free of cost.
The question of economical viability of running the hospital should also be borne in mind, the petitioner added.
The hospital indicated that they were ready to treat patients at concessional rates if the BMC provides them with the rates at their hospitals.
Following the arguments, the court has asked the civic body to provide a list of drugs they provide for free and at concessional rates in a municipal hospital.