While controversies have always been surrounding the NMMC Hiranandani Fortis Super Specialty Hospital, this one is the most grave in nature so far. In a new twist to the sale of the poor man’s hospital, it has come to light that the NMMC-Fortis agreement is in violation of the New Bombay Land Disposal 1975. If taken to court, the violation could shut down Hiranandani Fortis Hospital, finds out Dy. Editor Sana Warsia. They are back in the news and again for the wrong reasons. While the NMMC and Hiranandani Fortis managed to evade all controversies and allegations so far, this one might nail the duo as this time a violation has been detected by social activist Sandeep Thakur. The violation has been done allegedly by NMMC that according to its agreement with CIDCO and the New Bombay Land Disposal Act of 1975 could not have entered into a third party agreement and can use the land of the hospital only for charitable medical services. Social activist Sandeep Thakur explains that the agreement made between CIDCO and NMMC in 1997 for the said hospital land states that it is being given in accordance with Chapter V of the New Bombay Land Disposal 1975. The clauses of this chapter expose the violation as they clearly state that it is mandatory for NMMC to use the plot only for charitable purpose. In layman’s language, whether the user of the plot is NMMC or Fortis – the purpose of it has to be only “charitable”. What’s more? Another clause of the agreement between CIDCO and NMMC clearly states that NMMC cannot enter into a third party agreement. That’s why the agreement NMMC has entered in with Hiranandani Fortis is a violation in itself. However, overlooking the clauses of its agreement with CIDCO, NMMC has given a part of the poor man’s hospital to Hiranandani Fortis, which is running the hospital for commercial profits. If NMMC has to correct the violation, then the only option is to terminate the agreement it made with Hiranandani Fortis. While this would be the logical thing to do, Sandeep Thakur says that with the clout that Fortis has, NMMC will start looking for other options like amending the clause itself but there are little chances of that happening because the New Bombay Land Disposal Regulations does not permit amendment of any clause. That’s why scrapping the agreement with Hiranandani Fortis is the only option for NMMC. The new expose in the NMMC-Hiranandani Fortis tie up is raising eye brows as the clause in the agreement between CIDCO and NMMC over the hospital land could not have been missed by the NMMC Health Dept. and Legal Dept., yet both the departments allowed the tie up. The onus of ensuring that the hospital land was used only for charitable purpose of giving medical services to the poor at minimum cost was that of these departments but they failed miserably. That’s why today a private hospital group like Fortis has taken over half of the poor man’s hospital purely for their own commercial interests and profits. When we spoke to Dr. Rajeev Bhoudhankar of Hiranandani Fortis Hospital, he obviously did not seem to care about the violation as he passed the buck on NMMC and CIDCO. What’s worse is that the tie up has been done in the name of providing 10% reservation for the poor for super specialty services, which is still not brought into effect. At NMMC HQ, the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deepak Paropkari refused to comment on the controversy of violation. He did not even have a justification for still not commencing 10% reservation for the poor at the hospital. Listening to Dr. Paropkari give lame excuses compelled one to think that he was less of an officer sitting on the post to do justice to the poor and more of a paid agent of Hiranandani Fortis whose conscience is dead. There is little hope that such official will correct the violations of the New Bombay Disposal Regulations and delay in implementation of the 10% reservation for the poor in the NMMC – Hiranandani Fortis tie up – perhaps that’s why taking the matter to High Court might be the only way to do justice to the poor. In the pretext of providing 10% reservation to the poor, NMMC gave away the poor man’s hospital to Hiranandani Fortis. Today Fortis is raking in profits while it’s been over a year and NMMC has failed to implement the reservation policy for the poor. In the midst of this, it has been exposed that the very basis of the NMMC – Hiranandani Fortis hospital is a violation and a PIL could even shut down the hospital. This perhaps will be the only way of rendering justice to the poor in the ugly games being played by the people behind NMMC – HF tie up. Sana Warsia – NMTV News.
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