Mumbai: Civic hospitals may go cashless, the smartcard way

Updated: 10 December, 2019 07:44 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Plan is part of slew of changes new Addl. Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani wants to put in place at civic hospitals across the city

Suresh Kakani recently took over as additional municipal commissioner from Ashwini Joshi
Suresh Kakani recently took over as additional municipal commissioner from Ashwini Joshi

Taking stock of long-pending issues such as overcrowding in civic hospitals, the new additional municipal commissioner, Suresh Kakani, is planning to introduce certain changes including a cashless transaction system. The initiative that is expected to roll out soon in the city's five major civic hospitals, involves distribution of smartcards to the family members of patients.

Long queues at payment counters have been an issue in civic hospitals and family members of patients have also found the process confusing. Kakani said that the smartcards can simplify the payment process and a new I-T system is being set up for online patient registration.

"The smartcard will be a public utility that can be used to make electronic payments. Family members can recharge the smartcard and then use it to pay for treatment. We are meeting bank officials to work this out," said Kakani. He added that the civic body is trying to get a few banks on board, which can have a kiosk-like set-up at the hospitals, and family members of patients can recharge cards there.

In order to reduce the large crowds at civic hospitals, Kakani added that they are also planning to allow limited number of family members of patients in the premises over the next one month.

"We are planning to allow only two family members per patient in the hospital. Having more than two family members per patient creates an additional burden on the infrastructure since there is limited space," he said.

In civic-run hospitals, family members often eat and sleep in the corridors outside the wards. Kakani added that limiting the number of people will also help maintain cleanliness in the hospitals.

In order to improve the reputation of civic-run hospitals, Kakani has also urged them to promote research and publish material about successful rare surgeries there in medical journals.

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First Published: 10 December, 2019 07:38 IST

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