Politicos protest against development of Aundh District Hospital on PPP
Protesters believe the plan is to take over 85 acres of hospital land worth crores of rupees under the guise of PPP
The plan to build the Aundh District Hospital (ADH) in Sangvi on the basis of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) has provoked controversy among political parties and those working in the public healthcare system. Protesters believe the plan is to take over 85 acres of hospital land worth crores of rupees under the guise of PPP.
Members of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray faction) on Wednesday held a protest against the decision of health minister Tanaji Sawant’s move to develop the ADH on the PPP model.
The decision has been met with stern opposition as the ADH is the district hospital on which lakhs of impoverished and destitute people rely for treatment. Several builders, politicians, and educational institutes have eyes on the land.
Shiv Sena (UBT faction) party members have written to the district collector, Rajesh Deshmukh, requesting to revoke the decision. The protest follows the announcement of a meeting at ADH to discuss the development of the PPP model.
Earlier on May 16, Sawant held a meeting at Mantralay, Mumbai, with the principal secretary of Public Health, the director of the National Health Mission, and other officials to discuss the establishment of ADH on a PPP model. The district civil surgeon and the director of health services, however, were not invited to the conference. The specifics of the meeting’s discussion have been withheld.
Sanjay More, Shiv Sena (UBT faction) Pune unit chief, stated that the health department had previously tried the PPP model, which had failed badly.
“The diagnostic facility at ADH was provided on PPP at the same hospital and did not produce the desired results. PPP has always failed in health care, and we don’t want it at ADH. The health department is in charge of providing healthcare. However, the minister is working on privatising the hospital and syphoning the land,” he stated.
According to a highly placed source in the health ministry, the meeting was held on May 16 and Sawant conveyed his suggestion to develop the hospital on a PPP basis.
“On the one hand, it was discussed that the ADH facility is underutilised, while on the other hand, patients are waiting for four to five days at Sassoon General Hospital.” The ADH’s facilities need to be upgraded. A presentation for developing a 1500-bed hospital with medical equipment at ADH was discussed,” claimed the source, who requested anonymity.
According to the source, in addition to the 1500 beds, there will be a waiting and lodging facility for patients’ guests at the hospital.
The health department currently has offices in four to five distinct sites. A large office will be built on the ADH campus, and all health offices will be relocated there. The project’s cost is expected to be approximately ₹1,500 crores, according to the source.
“Expenses for developing the hospital, providing medical equipment, constructing offices, and other facilities will be compensated by providing a piece of land to the private player. However, the conversation is still in its early stages, and the project report is yet to be completed,” the source added.