Even after facing strong objection from the Congress, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) health department is firm on its stand of privatisation of five hospitals due to shortage of funds and absence of specialised doctors. The tendering process has already begun and after they are finalised, they will be sent to the General Body (GB) for a final approval.
The five hospitals — two from Yerawada and the rest from Bopodi, Kothrud and Wanawadi are to be privatised for a 30-year span based on contract. Dr S T Pardeshi, acting medical health officer of the PMC said, “Currently, we are facing a major staff crunch for operating these hospitals.
Specialised doctors are not ready to work in the civic body’s hospital because of the low pay package.
Total manpower of these five hospitals, including doctors, nurses and other staff, is around 1,000 and the monthly salary for all of them is Rs 1 crore per month. So, considering all these obstacles, there is no way but to privatise these hospitals. The civic body is not able to run these hospitals due to shortage of funds.”
Two days ago, Arvind Shinde, leader of opposition, Congress, took strong objection by claiming that the move will not be in favour of the public and the rent for 30 years would be very low (see box).
“If we compare the yearly rent of five hospitals with the 30-year contract, there is a difference of around Rs 30 crore. The contract will be under R7 agreement that means that contractor can construct use the site for commercial use. According to the recently-issued policies of the state, government hospitals should not be privatised. The proposal will benefit contractors and PMC officials,” he said.
On the other hand, Pardeshi said, “The rate of a 30-year contract is fixed by the construction department of PMC. We do not have any right to fix the rate.”
Executive engineer Rajendra Raut, who fixed the rate of the contract, said, “The rate is fixed as per the Property Regulation 2008. Considering the ready reckoner rates, there is a 2.5 per cent appreciation every year for commercial building. We have calculated the rate according to the guidelines.”
The cost proposed for the 30-year contract of the hospital at Yerawada is Rs 3.81 crore, at Yerawada Nagpur Chawl is Rs 3.26 crore, at Bopodi is Rs 2.33 Crore, at Wanawadi is Rs 10.54 crore and at Kothrud is Rs 3.77 crore. According to Arvind Shinde, as per the current market rate, the annual rent for Yerawada hospital is Rs 30.98 lakh, for Nagpur Chawl hospital is Rs 26.14 lakh, for Bopodi hospital is Rs 18.64 lakh, for Wanawadi hospital is Rs 84.38 lakh and Rs 30.19 lakh for Kothrud hospital.