Mumbai: The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has terminated its agreement with Hiranandani Healthcare Pvt Ltd (HHPL) through an order issued on Wednesday. The corporation has asked the healthcare facility to hand over the two floors that it currently occupies within the NMMC hospital in Vashi, in a month’s time. Instructions have also been given to HHPL to stop admitting new patients from the date of order.
The order sent by Additional Commissioner, Ramesh Chavan to the healthcare company states, “Breach of agreement has been proved on all accounts. While HHPL services were sought for super-specialty, even non-specialty services were being provided.”
The order has been dispatched on the basis of a site inspection done by a team of civic officials on September 27, 2016, where it was understood that out of the 150 beds at the facility a mere 46 were being used by patients availing super specialty treatment at the hub.
“Around 60% of patients were availing non-specialty treatment on chargeable basis when the same service NMMC is providing for free of cost,” Chavan observed.
The order issued by NMMC was issued after a month long hearing with Munde on the matter. Earlier the administration had issued a show cause notice on November 18, 2016 to HHPL. The HHPL responded by filing a writ in the Bombay High Court
“The court allowed NMMC to act in accordance with the law following which a hearing was held on December 23, 2016,” Chavan added.
The three grounds on which the Mumbai Corporation terminated the agreement were:
- Failure to operate a purely super-specialty hospital,
- Indirect transfer and assignment of obligation and duties to Fortis Healthcare Ltd and displaying the name `Fortis’ instead of `Hiranandani’ hospital at vantage points.
- NMMC had entered into an agreement with Hiranandani Healthcare in 2006 for super specialty facilities as it didn’t have the expertise to provide the same. Accordingly, the fourth and fifth floors of the NMMC hospital building in Vashi were decided to be used for the purpose. However, HHPL sub-let the property to Fortis, without the civic body’s consent.
“While the agreement of NMMC is with HHPL, the hospital is run entirely by Fortis Healthcare Ltd. Through inspection it has emerged that the corporation’s land had been commercialized for earning profit which was never the intention of NMMC,” said an official.
It has often been alleged during the Corporation General Body and Standing Committee meetings that the property was leased to HHPL through unfair means.
The termination of agreement through an order was driven by a PIL filed by Activist Sandeep Thakur in 2005. The PIL alleged that plots meant for charitable hospitals were being given away to parties with commercial interests.
Activist Thakur also made a court submission in 2010 stating that NMMC went against the New Bombay Land Disposal Act of 1975 by leasing out a charitable purposes plot to a company with commercial interests. The submission also called for the HC to question CIDCO. Matters came to a head when CIDCO in January 2016 terminated its lease agreement with NMMC, for alleged breach of terms and conditions, by subletting the civic hospital premises to a private party .
“This was the trigger for NMMC to get its act together. It was directed by the urban development department to act as per law, following which NMMC conducted a site inspection of the hospital wherein all the violations were observed,” a source revealed,reported the TOI .
In response to the move, Fortis Healthcare said it is considering legal options against the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation order asking it to vacate the premises of one of its Mumbai hospital.
“One of the company’s facility (hospital) operated and controlled by one of the subsidiary Hiranandani Healthcare Pvt Ltd has received an order on January 18, 2017 from Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to vacate the premises within one month,” Fortis Healthcare said in a filing to BSE.
The management of the Hiranandani Healthcare Pvt Ltd (HHPL) and the company are evaluating all possible legal remedies available including challenging the said order of NMMC with appropriate authority, it added.