Kausa hospital must be functional for needy at earliest: HC | Mumbai News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday said it wants the 100-bed municipal hospital in Mumbra’s Kausa in Thane district of Maharashtra to be made functional soon so that affordable medical facilities can be provided to the needy.
“We want this hospital to come up early. It is not just for having a good building but a need to serve the people,” said Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor, taking note of a committee’s report that construction of the hospital, although completed in 2021, “has not started functioning yet.”
NGO Association for Protection of Civil Rights had filed a PIL stating that Thane Municipal Corporation had reserved a 41,800 sq m plot for the hospital.
Despite a work order issued in August 2014, the construction was not completed and the cost had escalated.
The PIL said the population is dense and there is only one public health centre 12 km away in Kalwa.
On September 27, the HC appointed a three-member committee to visit the site to “ascertain the actual position”.
The committee comprised Dr Usha Badole (head of anaesthesia department JJ Hospital), Sandeep Chavan, executive engineer, PWD (Thane) and advocate Meenaz Kakalia.
The committee’s report concluded that as per tender document it is the obligation of the private operator to provide trained staff, establish departments such as surgery, obstetrics-gynaecology, paediatrics, orthopaedic, dentistry, cardiology etc, procure necessary medical equipment and run the hospital in all respects.
“This has not yet happened,” it said.
The committee said the large number of OPD patients serviced by the PHC “indicates that residents are in need of proper health care facilities and will greatly benefit from the hospital proposed to be set up.”
Senior advocate Yusuf Muchhala and advocate Rashda Ainapore, for the NGO, said the service must be affordable to the residents of the area.
Senior advocate Ram Apte, for TMC, said those below the poverty line will get free treatment.
Muchhala said the residents are mostly from lower and middle income groups and the entire purpose of setting up the hospital will not come to fruition if they are not covered.
“Can there be a scheme specific to a particular hospital? There has to be a scheme of the State applied to all hospitals,” the CJ remarked.
Posting the hearing on December 8 to pass directions, the judges directed TMC to file a comprehensive reply “in what manner the hospital and patient care services shall be managed” and to disclose details of steps taken “for providing affordable medical care services to needy and persons belonging to economically weaker sections of the society”.

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