Updated: August 31, 2021 9:07:01 am
The North MCD plans to move a proposal in the standing committee to hand over hospitals under its jurisdiction to the Centre, citing fund constraints in managing them.
This comes after the Delhi High Court had pulled up the corporation last week, saying it did not exhibit a sense of urgency in considering the proposal of handing over its six hospitals and medical college to the Centre or Delhi government, and warned that any default in timely payment of salaries and pensions to its employees will lead to attachment and sale of its properties.
Standing committee chairperson Jogi Ram Jain said the proposal has been put up by the executive wing but the deliberative wing is not in support of it. He said the proposal was placed following the court observation.
The development has led to sharp reactions from AAP with spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj saying that “after pushing the MCDs to bankruptcy, the BJP-led North MCD now plans to sell hospitals and medical colleges… they have emptied the MCD’s assets to such an extent”.
Jain said the AAP has forced MCDs to take such steps. “It has curtailed funds for years leading to such situations. However, we are going to reject the proposal,” he said.
Senior officials said though the proposal would be defeated, the corporation is not in a position to hold on to the hospitals in its current financial situation where it has a budget deficit leading to delay in salary and pensions becoming a regular feature. “These hospitals are from the time when the MCD was unified and had sound finances,” said a senior official.
A similar proposal was placed during a standing committee meeting in 2018, but it was never executed.
The six hospitals under the civic body are Hindu Rao, Kasturba, Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis, Girdhari Lal, MVID, and Balak Ram. Hindu Rao, the biggest hospital, has 900 beds. In comparison, the East and South corporations have just one hospital each — which are smaller in size, with 370 beds and 100 beds respectively.
While annual expenses of the hospitals amount to Rs 500 crore, another Rs 40 crore is spent on medicines, and there are maintenance costs as well, said a senior official in the administration.
Health staff of North MCD have gone on strike more than five times since the Covid outbreak over salary delays. The civic body employs at least 1,000 senior doctors, 500 resident doctors, and 1,500 nursing officers across five medical facilities.
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