Pune municipal corporation’s health dept red tape delays licence renewal of small hospitals

Health officials making unreasonable demands, says IMA doctors

pune Updated: Jul 21, 2018 16:53 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune municipal corporation,red tape,licence renewal
The health department led by assistant health officer Dr Vaishali Jadhav has been refusing to renew medical licences of small hospitals which are unable to show employment of nurses registered with the Maharashtra nursing council.(HT REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) health department has introduced some questionable criteria for renewal of medical licences of small hospitals in the city which has caused extreme discontent in the medical fraternity.

The health department led by assistant health officer Dr Vaishali Jadhav has been refusing to renew medical licences of small hospitals which are unable to show employment of nurses registered with the Maharashtra nursing council. The Indian medical association (IMA) has, however, maintained that this is an unreasonable demand as it is not mandatory as per the provisions in the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act, 1949. The national accreditation board for hospitals and healthcare providers (NABH) defines small and medium hospitals as those with less than 50 beds.

Dr Vaishali Jadhav, assistant health chief, PMC, said, “Earlier there was one doctor for each ward but presently there is one doctor for three wards who gets the applications for licence renewal and submits them to the main office. Also in the main office there is manpower crunch which is one of the reasons for delay in the process of hospital licence renewal.” The IMA, has however, countered this by saying that the renewal process was smooth in previous years.

“We have directives to ensure proper scrutiny of documents for the renewal of hospital licence. We are checking qualifications of doctors, nurses, payment of property tax and fire audits among various other things. If the required documents are not provided, we have to send the application back to the ward offices and the process is getting delayed,” she added.

According to Dr. Jadhav, the health department has received 348 applications for licence renewal from small hospitals in the city of which 146 hospitals have been given the necessary certificates. Documents provided by 202 other hospitals were found to be incomplete and their applications have been returned to the concerned ward offices.

When contacted, Dr Sanjay Patil, chairman of IMA’s Hospital Board of India (Pune chapter) said hospitals seeking licence renewals have been facing problems since the past six months. “Earlier the certificates were received by the hospitals within 30-40 days but currently even after 90 days the process of licence renewal has not been completed by PMC,” he said.

According to him, this year, the PMC health department “has been asking for unnecessary documents” due to which the process of renewal has been delayed by nearly three months.

Some doctors with the IMA said, one of the main areas of contention is the PMC’s demand that only registered nurses should be employed by the small hospitals.

On April 25, an IMA delegation met State Urban development minister Dr. Ranjeet Patil explaining that this was an unreasonable demand as it was not specified even under the Bombay Nursing Home Act. “During the meeting we put forth our concerns about delay in the process of licence renewal of hospitals due to additional documents being sought by PMC. These additional documents include qualification of nurses and whether they are registered with the Nursing Council,” Dr Patil said.

He said that the minister had asked the concerned PMC officials to abide by the Bombay Nursing Home Act and expedite the process. This, however, has not happened, Dr Patil said which has not happened.

Dr Sanjay Patil said the IMA wrote to Saurabh Rao, Pune municipal commissioner, suggesting that a meeting of concerned PMC officials, hospital owners and administrators be organised to address the issue of delay. However, there has been no response on this front too, he said.

BOX-1: Total hospitals in Pune - 650

Applications received by PMC for Hospital licence renewal- 348

Certificates issued by PMC- 146

Applications with insufficient documents- 202

BOX-2: List of documents sought by PMC for Hospital Licence Renewal Process

* Registration papers of the hospital.

* NOC from fire department

* NOC from MPCB

* Property tax clearance

* Bio medical waste payment

* Renewal of Maharashtra medical council (MMC) registration of the doctor

* Qualification of nurses

* Marriage certificate in case husband-wife are running the hospital

* Wife’s NOC in case she owns the property

BOX-3: After CM’s assurance, IMA, Nagpur suspends 24 hours closure of nursing homes

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Nagpur, called off its ‘24 hours closure of nursing homes’ protest in Nagpur following an assurance from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on July 17 that there would be no harassment on the issue of renewal of registration of nursing homes.

IMA had planned the protest to draw attention to the alleged “draconian conditions” imposed by Nagpur Municipal Corporation for continuation of medical registration of nursing homes. The CM’s assurance came after IMA delegation led by Dr. Milind Mane, MLA and IMA state president YS Deshpande met him on July 17.

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 16:52 IST