BMC Puts 3-Tier System In Place For Hospitals
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28 October 2010
By Sharad Vyas
Seven Hills Public–Pvt Row
Stung by the controversy surrounding the superspecialty Seven Hills Hospital at Marol in Andheri (E), the BMC has put a new three–tier system in place to ensure effective implementation of future public–private partnership (PPP) initiatives.
Over the years, the civic body has entered into 16 PPP agreements with private parties on its health properties and land–12 relating to maternity hospitals and four for dispensaries–with an aim to provide succour to poor patients.
However, while the deals reserved 20% beds for the needy–among many other benefits including a provison to provide free medicine–not many have adhered to the conditions laid out in the original agreement. Nearly 180 beds that should have been reserved for treating poor patients. "However, the ground reality is that the BMC got only a few beds– a fallout of the absence of a proper check and balance system in place", an official said.
"Our PPP policy will not change. We will just put in place a mechanism to ensure that the conditions of our past agreements are implemented by the private parties," said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
As part of these new plans, the BMC will have a referral system (to recommend patients) in place, appoint an officer on special duty in the hospitals and carry out co–branding with the partners. "By co–branding, the BMC will be able to promote its facilities in hospitals effectiviely," said officials.
In 2005, the BMC signed an agreement with the Seven Hills Health Care Ltd, allowing the management to operate on the land that was reserved for a cancer hospital. When the time to sign the MoU came, civic officials realized that the agreement needed to be amended to serve the poor better.
Days after President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the hospital some months ago, Sena leaders threatened to take back the 17–acre land, saying the management was not complying with the BMC’s demands.
After the controversy broke out, the government set up a panel and agreed to implement the BMC’s recommended six terms and conditions mentioned in the original MoU.