Dr. Rajeev Bhaudhankar – Director of Hiranandani Fortis has finally spoken in length about the clauses kept by the standing committee of NMMC. According to him, the clauses are not a part of the agreement and the clauses kept by the Standing Committee are even illogical. The way Dr. Bhaudhankar spoke on their side of the entire 10% reservation controversy, it seemed like Fortis was doing a favour on the Standing Committee by even considering the clauses that are not a part of the actual agreement between NMMC and Hiranandani Fortis. Our question this week is that after Dr. Bhaudhankar has called Standing Committee clauses as illogical and rejected it, “Will NCP dare to terminate the agreement with Hiranandani Fortis?” After weeks of taking up the issue of 10% reservation for the poor at Hiranandani Fortis on our “Justice for the Poor” series, last week NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata’s conscience compelled him to speak on the 10% reservation policy while this week our series forced Dr. Rajeev Bhaudhankar to stop playing hide and seek with the media and come clean on the 10% reservation policy. Dr. Bhaudhankar finally accepted that he has got the letter of Standing Committee’s approved proposal and that they have rejected two main clauses kept by the Standing Committee for implementation of the 10% reservation for the poor. Take a look at how Dr. Bhaudhankar justifies rejecting these clauses as if Fortis is doing a favour on the Standing Committee by even considering the clauses kept by them. * FORTIS REJECTS NMMC STANDING COMMITTEE’S SUGGESTION FOR SELLING MEDICINES AND CONSUMABLES AT CHARITABLE RATES The first suggestion of NMMC that Fortis has outright rejected is the cost of medicines. The approved proposal of NMMC Standing Committee states that Fortis should sell medicines to patients referred under the 10% reservation at charitable cost. Fortis has rejected the suggestion. Dr. Rajeev Bhaudhankar says that the agreement clearly says that the consumables and medicines will be sold at MRP so there is no question of selling medicines at costs at par with charitable hospitals. Like we have been saying if poor patients will have to pay MRP rates for medicines and there is no concession or discount, then the cost of medicines and consumables will be beyond the reach of the common man making the 10% reservation meaningless. * FORTIS REJECTS NMMC STANDING COMMITTEE’S SUGGESTION FOR FILLING BACKLOG Another major approval given by the Standing Committee was that Fortis should fill the backlog of 2.5 years – the time period that has lapsed in the since Fortis started operations in the NMMC Hospital. According to Dr. Rajeev Bhaudhankar, the delay is due to NMMC and not Fortis – that is why they are not liable to fill the backlog. He says that according to the agreement, there is no question of backlog. Rather dramatically he adds that he was begging to NMMC to send poor patients under 10% reservation. But since NMMC has delayed implementation, its illogical on Standing Committee’s part to demand filling backlog. Fortis stance of not filling the backlog is unethical because they know that the 10% reservation is the right of the poor from the very month that Fortis started operations in NMMC. However at the same time, the fact that it has not been implemented is a shame on NMMC administration and corporators of the ruling NCP and opposition Congress and Shiv Sena corporators at NMMC. * FORTIS REJECTS NMMC STANDING COMMITTEE’S SUGGESTION FOR HAVING A COMMON ENTRANCE FOR THE RICH AND THE POOR Another point of the approved Standing Committee proposal that Fortis has rejected is having a common entrance between NMMC Hospital and Fortis. Fortis says that they have an entrance at the hospital on the outside where they can put a shed for poor patients to enter and leave the hospital. Dr. Rajeev Bhaudhankar says that he has asked NMMC to open the passage where the patients can come through the exit. But aren’t they discriminating between the rich and the poor by rejecting the clause of having a common entrance for the FRU and Fortis Hospital? Dr. Bhaudhankar again accuses NMMC saying that they should have thought of this when the project had just taken off. In fact, Dr. Rajeev Bhaudhankar goes on to state that whatever clauses they have rejected does not in anyway violate any clause of the agreement. In fact, the way Dr. Rajeev Bhaudhankar was justifying their position; it seemed that Fortis is actually doing a favour on Standing Committee by even considering their clauses. Dr. Bhaudhankar even had a word of advise for the corporators of NMMC – they should read the agreement made with Hiranandani Fortis as anything beyond the agreement calls for mutual consent of both parties and cannot be imposed on Fortis. For Fortis, the Standing Committee clauses are illogical. There is reason for Hiranandani Fortis rejecting Standing Committee clauses without any fear of the consequences – they know that courtesy former NMMC Commissioner Madhukar Kokate and present NMMC Chief Vijay Nahata – the agreement between NMMC and HF has clauses that favour Fortis and not NMMC. They know legally NMMC stands no chance of proving Fortis wrong anywhere. That is why having got the license; they don’t care about the 10% reservation policy and the delay happening in its implementation. The NMMC administration is to be blamed in this tie up for playing the role of an agent who literally sold the poor man’s hospital to Fortis and the ignorant corporators who are responsible for never studying the agreement between NMMC and Fortis. The only hope of justice now lies with the ruling NCP leaders. Having clearly stated their minds on the tie up on several occasions, it will be a wait and watch whether Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik led NCP and MLA Sandeep Naik driven 10% reservation policy will be implemented in its true spirit. And if this does not happen, will NCP dare to terminate the agreement with HF? Something that city will find out sooner than later.
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March 16, 2012