After serving notices on 15 private hospitals in the city for flouting norms, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now planning to tweak its public-private-partnership (PPP) model. The civic body, which used to let the hospitals use its land by paying a nominal fee, now intends to charge commercial rates.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the BMC had served show-cause notices on major hospitals, amid allegations that infrastructure reserved for women and child care had been turned into multi-specialty health centres.
A senior civic official from the BMC’s health department said, “We are looking at mooting a new model wherein we provide land to private parties on commercial rates. We will, however, continue with the clause, which mandates that 25 per cent of the beds be reserved for patients from civic-run hospitals.”
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In 2004, the BMC entered into an agreement with the private players to run maternity care centres and maintain them under the PPP model. Around 20 BMC-owned plots were handed over to the private parties to run these centres on charity by paying a nominal rent of Re 1 per square foot.
On high court directives, the BMC formed a committee in 2014 to inspect the hospitals, only five of which were found to be operating as per the terms. Apart from utilising the space for running multi-specialty health centres, BMC found several other violations too. For instance, a trust in Andheri had failed to pay property tax worth Rs 2 crore on time, which led to the civic body seizing the property. Another major hospital had failed to reserve 25 per cent beds for economically weaker sections (EWS).
“By introducing this clause, BMC will…be able to earn revenue and also cater to patients who come to the civic hospitals, which was the primary intention of introducing the PPP model,” the official added.