After demanding a host of freebies like free AC bus and rail passes, laptops and special seats in BEST buses, corporators on Wednesday sought special reservation of beds for themselves in civic hospitals.
“The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed a certain number of beds be reserved for the poor and for civic employees in all municipal hospitals. They should add civic corporators to this list so that we do not face trouble while seeking medical treatment from civic hospitals,” Shiv Sena corporator from Sion, Mangesh Satamkar said at the civic standing committee.
BMC’s network of health welfare services for the poor and the general public includes hospitals, dispensaries, health posts, and maternity homes. According to sources, there are four teaching hospitals, five specialized hospitals, 16 peripheral hospitals, 28 municipal maternity homes and 14 maternity wards attached to municipal hospitals having nearly 18,000 employees.
Additional commissioner Anil Diggikar said the matter would be examined.
Congress corportor Sameer Desai said the corporators did not seek complete reservation at the cost of poor patients, but the BMC should make its policy clear whether they would reserve certain beds from the existing beds or add more beds.
BJP corporator and MLA Yogesh Sagar said the BMC should find a mid-way.
“The BMC should say that instead of reserving exclusive beds for corporators, they should give priority if councilors require medical treatment from civic hospitals.”
Sources said as many as 10 million patients are treated annually in the Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) in Mumbai’s civic hospitals that have around 10,000 to 12,000 beds. There are 227 corporators in the BMC.
“BMC hospitals are always crowded with patients who sleep in corridors. If corporators seek reservation for beds also, the existing shortage will grow more acute and the general public would not have any place. For whom does the BMC run? The public or the corporators?” JR Gupta, civic activist from eastern suburbs, said.