Thane: New Kausa-Mumbra Hospital To Finally Offer Free Medical Services To Poor

Thane: New Kausa-Mumbra Hospital To Finally Offer Free Medical Services To Poor

The direction to the civic body came from the Bombay High Court, which observed that right to life does not mean mere animal existence, it encompasses the right to live with dignity.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 02:43 AM IST
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Thane: New Kausa-Mumbra Hospital To Finally Offer Free Medical Services To Poor | Representative Photo

After nearly two years, the Thane Municipal Corporation will implement its March 3, 2022 resolution to provide free medical services to the poor in a new 100-bed hospital in Kausa-Mumbra. The direction to the civic body came from the Bombay High Court, which observed that right to life does not mean mere animal existence, it encompasses the right to live with dignity.

"If any citizen is deprived of affordable public health services, the right to life with dignity cannot be ensured, it will rather be compromised," said a bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor on Monday.

Plea to make hospital functional for the needy

NGO Association for Protection of Civil Rights and three residents of Thane had sought direction from the HC to the TMC to make the hospital functional so that affordable medical treatment can be provided to the needy.

The court noted that considering a large part of the population of Kausa-Mumbra locality belonging to the disadvantaged and economically weaker sections of society, it becomes the duty of the court to ensure that the citizens enjoy the facility of affordable public health services.

Court rejected PPP model

The court, however, refused to interfere with the civic body’s decision to run the hospital on a public private partnership (PPP) model. It said that the fact that the hospital is to be run on PPP model would not make any difference as it is admittedly a municipal hospital built entirely by public funds. Moreover, the resolution provides that the TMC will reimburse the private partner as per the fixed rate ascertained by the municipal committee.

The agreement entered into by the TMC with the private partner would inter alia require free medical services to be given to the poor and those who do not have yellow and orange cards, the court said.

As far as the petitioners’ allegations regarding irregularities in completing the hospital resulting in cost escalation and favouritism, the court has asked them to make an appropriate application before the state government.

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