10 months on,Seven Hills yet to ink MoU with BMChttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/10-months-on-seven-hills-yet-to-ink-mou-with-bmc/

10 months on,Seven Hills yet to ink MoU with BMC

It is the civic body’s first major public-private partnership project in healthcare,but the Seven Hills Hospital in Marol has not inked the crucial Memorandum of Understanding.

It is the civic body’s first major public-private partnership project in healthcare,but the Seven Hills Hospital in Marol has not inked the crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) even after it started services around 10 months ago. While all major differences between the two have been sorted out,the issue of providing free medicines to the poor continues to be the bone contention for the delay.

Owing to the delay,the BMC has no way to ensure that the hospital is keeping its promise of reserving 20 per cent of its services for the economically backward patients referred by the BMC,in return for the the large plot of land at Marol given to the hospital by the civic body.

A senior civic official said as the first step hospital was supposed to sign the MoU after it started operations.

“The contract agreement mentioned about the free medicines to those patients under the 20 per cent quota. The lease deed,which states that it overrides the earlier contract agreement,makes no mention of free medicines. Due to this ambiguity,the MoU has been stuck since a long time,” said the official.

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While the hospital is providing the bed and services free of cost for patients falling under the 20 per cent quota,it wants to charge them for complex drugs. A doctor of the hospital on the condition of anonymity said it was possible to give basic drugs for free but not the complex drugs that are generally expensive. The BMC,however,wants the hospital to give all medicines free of cost. “There is no question about it. We will not let them charge for the medicines,” said Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar.

The contract was first signed in 2006 before the constuction of the hospital. The hospital became operational from July 2010. Hospital officials said part of the services have been reserved for the poor.

Bone of contention
* The contract agreement mentioned free medicines to those patients under the 20 per cent quota.While the hospital is providing the bed and services free of cost for patients falling under the 20 per cent quota,it wants to charge them for complex drugs.
* The lease deed,which states that it overrides the earlier contract agreement,makes no mention of free medicines. Due to this ambiguity,the MoU has been stuck since a long time
* The BMC,however,wants the Seven Hills Hospital to give all medicines free of cost to those coming under the 20 per cent quota.