BMC To Tender Dialysis Plan Again
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11 November 2010
By Sukhada Tatke
Two months ago, the BMC floated tenders for dialysis centers to be set up on a 'charity basis' in the city. The idea was to offer the life–saving treatment at a minimal cost, even lesser than that of civic hospitals. However, the BMC didn’t receive any response and is being now forced to float tenders based on the business model. The new tenders will be floated by the end of the month.
Tenders for four such locations where these standalone dialysis centers were expected to function and be run on a lease by registered private trusts and medical institutions were floated on August 20. The plan was to seek private partnership to overcome resource and manpower crunch for dialysis. According to officials of the public private partnership (PPP) cell, only two parties showed interest. However, they were rejected because they were declared ineligible as they did not meet the criteria.
"As we didn’t get a good response for the charity model, we have decided to go for the business model. Now, the private trust will have to give some percentage of treatment at rates lower than BMC hospitals. For the rest, they can charge an amount and then cross–subsidize. Priority will be given to the trust that will offer the maximum percentage for cheap treatment," said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
The civic corporation will, for now, not completely abandon the charity model. However, it will be reintroduced in new locations, which they feel will be more "viable" options. The centers will come up on civic plots, including three in the western suburbs and one in the eastern suburbs. There are existing unoccupied buildings in Millat Nagar, Andheri (W), a maternity home in Mulund, Ek ar Village at Borivli W) and Chakala. The BMC decided to do away with earlier plans of erecting the centers on the premises of existing hospitals at Rajawadi in Ghatkopar and Shataabdi in Govandi.
Currently, the civic body has 600 dialysis machines, which can perform up to 10,000 dialysis sessions in a month. The demand, however, according to BMC records, is above 40,000. As a result, the burden on private hospitals increases thus increasing the cost as well, added officials. As against Rs 1,200 charged for each session in a private set–up, centers based on the charity model will charge a nominal fee of Rs 350 or even less.