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WILL PIL AGAINST MGM HOSPITAL, VASHI FORCE ALL HOSPITALS MISUSING MEDICAL PLOTS TO GIVE MEDICAL SERVICES AT AFFORDABLE RATES? – NMTV WEEKEND EXCLUSIVE

mgm-hospitalThe MGM Hospital, Vashi versus Sandeep Thakur case is going to come up for hearing soon at the Bombay High Court. In the next hearing the petitioner Sandeep Thakur is appealing in court that MGM Hospital at Vashi should run on a no profit no loss basis as a charitable trust in accordance with the agreement with CIDCO and a committee should be set up to monitor their accounts. No points for guessing that all hopes of citizens to get affordable medical services are now pinned on this case because it might just force scores of other private hospital misusing plots given to them to provide medical services at affordable cost – including Hiranandani Fortis as well. There is a lot of shout and scream about India being a super power and that we are not a rising power but we have already risen. Unfortunately none of this stands true as far as health care rights for citizens is concerned. In this sector we are still a very backward entity. Unlike countries around the globe where health is given prime focus; in India citizens are deprived of basic medical services at affordable rates. The worst examples of this deprivation can be seen in the so-called city of the 21st century – Navi Mumbai itself where plots have been given at meager rates to provide affordable medical services to citizens, especially the poor but as of today greedy medical giants are commercially exploiting these plots; one hospital that has been dragged to court for similar allegations is the MGM Hospital at Vashi. RTI activist Sandeep Thakur’s PIL in Bombay High Court exposes that exposed that the plot where the MGM Hospital stands today was first a public hospital built by CIDCO in the 1970s. A few years after constructing the hospital, CIDCO invited Jijamata Trust – a NGO to run the hospital. From the date of the agreement with CIDCO in 1970’s till 1990, the Jijamata Trust managed to run the hospital as per their agreement with CIDCO. In 1990, when Jijamata Trust reportedly raised its hands from running the hospital, the MGM Trust came forward to take over. A tri party agreement was signed between CIDCO, MGM Trust and Jijamata Trust on 6th February 1990 wherein it was agreed to hand over the hospital to the MGM Trust on the same clauses as were applicable to Jijamata Trust. These clauses included that :  MGM would run the hospital on no profit no loss  30 beds would be used to give free of cost medical services to the needy  10 beds would be reserved for CIDCO employees  And the out patients will be charged not more than the charges of medical services in municipal hospitals  25% of the total beds of the hospital would be run on concessional rates as decided by CIDCO. However for 20 years in complete violation of the agreement with CIDCO, MGM Hospital managed by the influential political family of the Kadams has been commercially running the hospital for profits. All the violations of the agreement that MGM Hospital has made have come on record. In the next hearing, the petitioner Sandeep Thakur, is going to appeal to court for two things – one that the MGM Hospital, Vahsi should run as a charitable trust and secondly that a committee be set up to look into the accounts of the hospital. He pointed out on the other important aspect the court will decide on is the incorrect accounts submitted by MGM Hospital, Vashi. Since the Charity Commissioner’s office, CIDCO and NMMC do not dare to take action in the interest of the tax paying citizens and poor, most hospitals in Navi Mumbai that have grabbed plots from CIDCO at throw-away prices to provide affordable medical services are operating as five star corporate driven hospitals. They are commercially exploiting the plot to make huge profits. That is why citizens, especially the poor have pinned all their hopes on the High Court judgment in the MGM Hospital, Vashi case as it might set the precedent for other private hospitals to render medical services at affordable costs. And top on this list will be Hiranandani – Fortis – that sits in the poor man’s hospital and refuses to given them just 10% of their services free of cost. At a time when greedy medical giants like MGM and Fortis have tainted the noble profession of doctors by snatching the medical rights of the poor for their own profits, all hopes of citizens are now pinned on the MGM Hospital versus RTI Activist Sandeep Thakur case, that might awaken the conscience of greedy medical giants and do justice to the poor. With cameraperson VInayak Dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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