#Mumbai- SevenHills wants to treat ‘Bachchans’, not poor: BMC #patientrights


Rosy Sequeira TNN

Mumbai:The BMC on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that SevenHills Healthcare Private Limited (SHHPL) wants to treat “only the Bachchans” and not poor and needy at its super-specialty hospital in Marol. Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan had given birth to a baby girl at the hospital.

BMC advocates Ashutosh Kumbhakoni and Shardul Singh said this while opposing a fresh plea by SHHPL for an NOC to change its bank mortgage. In September 2011, SHHPL had challenged BMC notices to vacate the land allotted to it to run the super-specialty hospital in a public-private partnership.
SHHPL’s counsel Venkatesh Dhond urged the HC for urgent relief in shifting the mortgage to other banks, saying mounting arrears had nearly made the hospital a non-performing asset.
The division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and K K Tated pointed out that following the November 2011 HC order, the BMC has granted an NOC. To which Dhond replied the NOC is more of an objection that has dissuaded bankers from granting funds. The judges said if SHHPL is not happy with the NOC, it should take out appropriate proceedings and not file a fresh plea claiming the same relief.
Dhond urged the HC to direct the BMC to grant an occupation certificate for the hospital. Kumbhakoni said there are conditions in the intimation of disapproval that SHHPL has to first comply with. The matter will be heard after three weeks.

Dear chief minister, is this rioting?


Javed Iqbal- DNA

Dear chief minister, is this rioting?

Jameel Akhtar Sheikh was defending his Ambujwadi home from demolition for two days, before he had gone to Sion Koliwada to help the original inhabitants of Mumbai, the Kolis, to defend one home that had been previously demolished on the same day he and thousand of his neighbours chased away bulldozers at his home back in Malad.

After the reprieve at his home, two days later, at Sion Koliwada, on May 31, he lay down before the bulldozer in an act of passive resistance, and would eventually be dragged away and arrested, charged for rioting amongst other charges.

Just two days ago, in a rally in Ambujwadi he would speak without a microphone to thousands of other residents, exhorting, ‘Where do you think Shah Rukh Khan stays? Who do you think made Anil Ambani’s home? We did!’

Today, he is among 25 individuals arrested by the Sion police at Sion Koliwada, along with 24 other women, including Madhuri Shivkar, the young leader of the resistance against Sahana Developers. She was the first woman to be dragged off by lady constables as she sat on dharna, without sleep, for over 19 hours. She has further charges slapped on her, and the police have demanded further custody for her, due to ‘serious complaints already filed against her’, but all her nieghbours know that this is only because she is the de facto leader of the opposition to the builder at Sion Koliwada.

Now, 24 women and one man were arrested and charged under IPC Sections 143, 147, 149, 152, 332, 333, 353, 504.

According to the police, the protestors had not only resorted to rioting and injuring a lady constable Kalawati Ravindra Sinha, 54, who would be admitted to Hinduja Hospital, but they also illegally rebuilt a home that the residents claim was illegally demolished.

The police also demanded police custody of the protestors till June 7 fearing they would return to protest, and return to ‘provoke’ the residents. Their only eyewitness is another police constable, while residents had video footage of the so-called riot, where every person who was arrested was picked up from the ground when they were lying down before the bulldozer.

At the police station, no one was allowed to meet the accused and even after all the protestors were sent to the Nagpada police station, no one was allowed to send them any food. Journalists were also not allowed to interview senior police officials.

The protestors remained in police custody all night and would complain before the Kurla magistrate court that their medical tests were not done properly. Allegations of abuse have been widely circulated in the Sion village, and just two days earlier a young Frank Fernandes sat in a police van with torn shirts, showing tell-tale signs of police violence.

A few of the police’s justifications for demanding police custody make an interesting indication of naked police aggression. In the first information report, they claim that if the protestors are released they would hurt the ‘peaceful environment’ in the area.

Read full article here

Aamir Khan, The Ambanis And Medical Ethics


Vidyadhar Date 

28 May, 2012
Countercurrents.org

Dr Ravi Bapat is the man Amir Khan should have featured in his television programme on health issues Satyameva Jayate telecast on May 27. Dr Bapat is also much nearer home , in Mumbai. Dr Bapat is committed, has a long record of serving the poor in a public hospital and he has written about the importance of public hospitals and corruption in the private sector in two books.

Social commitment and medicine run in the family. Dr Bapat’s father Dr Dinkar Bapat removed 400 doctors from the employees’s state insurance scheme on charges of corruption when he was its director in the sixties. He conducted raids and found that some doctors ran bogus clinics and gave bogus certificates.

He got so fed up with the corruption that he sought a transfer and wrote an article on the decline in the morality of doctors in Mumbai.

So what Amir Khan highlighted was important but by no means new. For example Dr Bapat points out on page 165 in his more recent book Post Mortem that if a doctor takes a seriously ill patient hurriedly for an operation, it is likely that the patient is already dead but all operation charges will be recovered from the family.
Hysterectomy is the bread and butter of gynaecologists and appendix of general surgeons. Many of these surgeries are unnecessary, he says.

Dr Bapat’s book Ward No 5, KEM, published six years ago, is published in Marathi as well as English and the more recent is Postmortem which is in Marathi and deserves to be urgently translated into other languages.

God forbid if a major calamity strikes Mumbai because we are weakening our public hospital infrastructure, warned Dr Bapat in Ward NO 5, KEM. .

It is only in the last few years that the craze for private, expensive hospitals and private medical colleges has begun. Formerly, prominent political leaders regularly took treatment in public hospitals. Members of the Bal Thackeray family including wife Meenatai used to get treatment in the municipal KEM hospital. Dr Ravi Bapat recalls this in his book .

The book reads like a novel because it deals with such a wide variety of characters. Nowhere else can a doctor get such experience as a public hospital. Ravi Bapat has treated all sorts of people from senior politicians to gangsters, artistes, sportspersons and social activists.

In 1983 when Bal Thackeray’s ailment could not be diagnosed, Bapat examined him, stopped his homeopathic treatment, gave him new medicines and restored his health. One needs to make it clear that Bapat is not at all close to the Thackerays. Far from it. He was very close to many activists and leaders of left wing trade unions during the more militant days of the sixties and seventies.

Bapat’s father and wife too studied in G.S. medical college of KEM and as a student he got guidance from such stalwarts of those days as Dr A.V. Baliga, G.M. Phadke, Arthur D’sa , B.N. Purandare and P.K. Sen.

Bapat is troubled by the growing privatisation, commercialisation of medicine. He has seen it all from close quarters as a practising senior surgeon and later as vice chancellor of Maharashtra university for medical sciences. Doctors are so busy chasing money these days that they are putting their own health at risk, Bapat says.

Many doctors have a long record of dedicated social service and many are brilliant writers. The foremost among them is A.J. Cronin, who did pioneering work in the field of occupational health among mine workers in the U.K. and his writing was responsible for the much lauded British health service. More recently, Dr Atul Gawande, a U.S. born son of a doctor couple, has done pioneering work in the profession and on writing on it. However, the profession also has been lampooned for its downside. I remember a Sanskrit proverb Yamaraj Sahodar which says a doctor is like the elder brother of Yama, the god of death, Yama only takes your life, the doc takes both your life and money.

Way back in 1978, the book Chloroform, written by Dr Arun Limaye while losing his battle against cancer, questioned various aspects of the medical profession. The book was published by Granthali. It was a landmark book and Limaye’s premature passing away left a void.

The irregularities and crimes of multinational pharmaceutical companies are regularly exposed in the Western media and literature but so little notice is taken of these in India. John La Carre’s novel The Constant Gardner shows the crimes of the MNCs which included the murder of a British diplomat’s wife in Africa because she is a committed campaigner.

Amir Khan’s programme is good and many decent people are connected with it. But it is completely marred by the exhortation by Mrs Nita Ambani of the Ambani Foundation and there arises a very big question of credibility.

She talks of taking India from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from dependence to self reliance and so on. While she speaks softly, the import is extremely arrogant as it seeks to project the foundation as the solution of all of India’s problems. Even an election campaign speech has more credibility.

The Ambanis are simply using a good programme to brighten their extremely controversial image. Of course, there is no shortage of collaborators in the media trumpeting for the Ambanis.

And an Ambani-sponsored programme on health issues seems extremely odd considering the record of the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital at Andheri though it belongs to the rival Anil Ambani group. Just read the damning report of the auditor and comptroller general presented to the Maharashtra legislature recently.

That apart the programme and much of the discussion elsewhere on health issues is too focussed on big hospitals, doctors and treatment. The more crucial issue of prevention is generally neglected. It is much more important to provide clean drinking water, air and nutritious food and basic health services to the masses than to build expensive, high tech hospitals. But hospitals bring more publicity and strengthen the vested interests in the medical corporate complex.

(Mr Vidyadhar Date is a senior journalist and author of the book Traffic in the era of climate change. Walking, cycling, public transport need priority. datebandra@yahoo.com)

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