The BMC is likely to reach out to the Central government for converting Seven Hills Healthcare hospital in Marol into an All India Institute of Medical Sciences-like facility, even as it is looking into options to convert the hospital into a cancer facility on the lines of Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital that is struggling to meet the huge patient inflow.
On November 29, an improvement committee of the BMC had met to discuss the fate of the hospital that was handed over to the civic body after a Supreme Court verdict in November set aside a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal order to revive the hospital under Dr Shetty’s New Medical Centre (SNMC). Dr Rajendra Badwe, director of Tata Memorial Hospital, said the civic body had approached the hospital in the matter. “They asked for the feasibility of starting a cancer facility there (at the Marol hospital). But no further talks have taken place,” he said.
According to sources, in 2005, BMC had entered into a contract with Seven Hills Healthcare Pvt Ltd, whereby the latter was allowed to construct a 1,496-bed hospital in exchange for reserving 20 per cent beds for economically poor patients. The civic body, however, claimed that the Seven Hills hospital had not abided by the lease contract and failed to pay an annual rent of Rs 10 lakh. In 2018, BMC issued a termination notice to Seven Hills hospital.
Simultaneously, a case was registered by the Axis Bank with NCLAT over loans that the hospital could not pay. Seven Hills hospital finally had raised the loan by mortgaging its land.
While the tribunal had approved SNMC’s plan to revive the hospital, the civic body approached the top court in the matter that handed over the hospital land back to BMC.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Ashwini Joshi confirmed that the land in Marol was marked for hospital use in the Development Plan. In its meeting last week, the improvement committee reportedly decided to seek permission for the AIIMS-like facility. However, with an AIIMS already sanctioned for Nagpur, civic officials said permission for a second such facility for one state seemed difficult. The original plan for the land, corporator Ashraf Azmi, who is also a member of BMC’s improvement committee said, was to use it for a cancer hospital. “After 15 years, BMC is going back to its original plan. So many years have been wasted…” he said.