Times of India
16 August 2010
Asia’s largest private sector hospital continues to invite criticism by reneging on its promise to reserve 300 beds for patients below poverty line.
The 1,500–bed, seven star facility in Marol, Andheri, was granted prime land by BMC on the said condition. However, after two destitute patients were slapped with bills running into lakhs, it has emerged that no MoU has been signed between the BMC and the hospital for treating the poor. The BMC, understandably, is readying for an ultimatum as damage control.
Abhishek Upadhyay, 20 and Kalavati Thakur, 60 were admitted in the ICU at Seven Hills last week. While the former had sustained severe abdominal stab injuries, the latter had suffered serious head injuries due to a fall. They were they asked to pay up Rs 25,000 each as deposit during admission. That wasn’t all. After they sought discharge on Tuesday, Abhiskeh was given a bill of Rs 1.5 lakh and Kalavati was asked to pay Rs 3 lakh for the treatment.
The patient’s families approached the local corporator, who informed Mayor Shraddha Jadhav about the incident, prompting her to go on surprise visit to the hospital on Thursday. "Their families managed to beg, borrow and raise half the amount. They requested the hospital to waive off the remainder but Seven Hills is refusing to budge," she told Mumbai Mirror and added, "In our next meeting with Seven Hills authorities we will demand that they either sign the MoU on our terms give the land back to us."
According to Dr Sanjay Oak, Medical Director of Civic Hospitals and consultant to the BMC and Seven Hills MoU, "This is exactly the kind of the problem we had foreseen when we had pressed for a MoU. We don’t want others poor patient to suffer in future."
Dr C K Taneja, Senior Vice–President of Seven Hills Hospital, said, "I can’t comment on the MoU as discussions are still on. However, we have taken note of this issue and have already waived off the excess amount in the bill. The patients need not worry."