The controversy surrounding SevenHills Hospital at Marol has taken an ugly turn with city corporators demanding that the hospital put a halt to its operations as it refuses to treat poor patients at subsidised fees.
This demand was echoed by all-party corporators at the civic body’s standing committee meeting on Monday.
Corporators also demanded that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cut off water supply to the 1,500-bed super specialty hospital.
The BMC administration said it wanted the hospital, which is built on civic land, to treat and provide medicines free of cost or as per rates charged by civic hospital to 20% of their patients who primarily come from weaker sections.
However, the hospital has not yet agreed to this clause and has therefore, not yet signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the BMC.
Niyaz Vanu, Nationalist Congress Party leader in the BMC said, “They [the management] are running the hospital illegally in absence of an MoU. They should be stopped from operating.”
Sena corporators Shubhada Gudekar and Mangesh Satamkar and Vidya Thakur from the Bharatiya Janata Party said that if the BMC cannot stop the hospital from functioning, it should disconnect its water supply.
Standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale instructed the civic administration to sort out the issue before July 3. Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner said, “We will not allow the hospital to expand further if they don’t sign an MoU with us.”
She said that the BMC would scrap the unregistered draft lease agreement (in 2005) which said that the hospital could charge for medicines from the poor because a condition laid down in the original tender clearly mentioned that the hospital is bound to provide medicines at rates levied by BMC hospitals.
Mhaiskar said, “We are now communicating to SevenHills Hospital that the draft lease agreement will be cancelled.”
The hospital refused to comment on the issue.