A crackdown by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on illegal nursing homes and hospitals in Kandivali has revealed that 12 out of the 13 facilities are operating without a licence. Interestingly, the licence of the only registered nursing home was not renewed for its failure to comply with the fire safety norms.
BMC officials said two of them have now been closed while FIRs have been registered against 10 nursing homes, which are still open, and the medical staff employed there.
“These facilities have been mostly operating from slum areas for around two years. They function like clinics or day care centres with 5-10 beds and 15 staff members each and cater to poor patients,” a medical officer from R South ward said.
Madina Hospital on Wadilal Gosaliya road at Sanjay Nagar has shut down the hospital but operates as a polyclinic. Jeevan Hospital at Thakur Complex has also closed its nursing home operations. Currently, it operates as a day care centre in the name of Life Care and doesn’t admit patients.
The BMC, however, didn’t renew the licence of Sanchaiti Hospital (P) Limited on Akurli Road as it had failed to procure a no-objection certificate from the fire department.
Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner, R South ward, told HT, “We have filed FIRs against 10 nursing homes that are running illegally in Kandivali. We have already shut down two hospitals, and our target is to close five more. We used to put up boards warning people not to visit these illegal hospitals but they removed the boards.”
As per the Bombay nursing home registration Act 1949, it is mandatory for a doctor running a nursing home to register with the civic body. However, most nursing homes operate from rented premises. Building owners prevent them from changing the user status, staircase and elevator, and getting a parking area and separate water connection. This results in nursing homes failing to procure licences from the medical officer of the BMC.
“There are some nursing homes who do not procure licences and according to the rules, we can file an inspection report but cannot seal them. We can move court for prosecuting them and then impose a huge penalty. The first-time offender can be imposed a fine of ₹20,000. We use to get a lot of complaints from citizens. In some cases, the licences are not renewed and yet they operate. Patients should find out before getting themselves admitted to such nursing homes if they possess the requisite permissions,” Nandedkar said.
Harsh Pandey, a Kandivali resident, said, “The illegalities of nursing homes on such a large scale are mainly due to poor public healthcare where patients cannot afford private care.”