Mumbai: Announcing yet another inquiry against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Maharashtra Government on Friday said that the purchase of medicines supplied to the hospitals under the civic body would be probed.
Industries Minister Uday Samant informed the legislative Assembly that a White Paper on services provided by the BMC hospitals will be presented, apart from a high-level investigation.
Congress MLA raises issue in Assembly
Congress MLA Amin Patel raised the issue of healthcare facilities in civic body-run hospitals in the Assembly. Patel pointed out that giving a free hand to operate unauthorised hospitals in Mumbai city has led to various incidents, fire outbreaks, mistreatment of patients as well as lack of supply of medicines in these hospitals.
Participating in the discussion, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said that patients coming to BMC-run hospitals are asked to get the medicines and various reports – X-Ray, sonography etc done from outside. This proves that there is corruption which must be thoroughly investigated, he said.
Shelar said that there are various hospitals in Mumbai including municipal hospitals, hospitals run by the state government, private and charitable hospitals, and hospitals for central government workers but there is absolutely no coordination between these hospitals.
The BJP legislator demanded a white paper on the number of patients coming to Mumbai and adequate facilities offered for them. “Also, the expenditures incurred on all healthcare facilities must be evaluated while coming out with the white paper,” said Shelar.
BMC's annual expenditure on healthcare
The civic body, on average, spends nearly ₹4,000 crore on health facilities every year. Which amounts to ₹20,000 crore spent on the health system over the last five years. Roughly, this amount must have been spent on approximately 45,000 patients. But unfortunately, there is misappropriation in this service as well. People haven't received facilities equivalent to this amount spent. Patients are asked to get the necessary medicines and various reports - X-Ray, sonography, etc done from outside. This proves that there is corruption which must be thoroughly investigated, Shelar demanded.
He also said that the medicines and injections given at the private hospitals are exorbitantly priced and the patients are made to suffer. Hence the government must also come up with a rate card, demanded Shelar.
Appropriate housing facilities for relatives of patients
He also demanded that a large number of cancer patients come to Mumbai for treatment and the relatives accompanying them have to face a lot of ordeal in terms of stay and other facilities. Hence, the government must also construct buildings where the relatives of these patients can be put up.
Meanwhile, MLA Manisha Choudhary also raised the issue of poor healthcare facilities in suburbs. In response to this, minister Uday Samant accepted the demand to come up with a white paper and also announced that a high-level inquiry will be conducted into the procurement of medicines in the BMC hospitals.