Stop handing over BBMP super speciality hospital, Broadway road to Narayana Health.
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A government super specialty hospital has been constructed by BBMP using public funds on public land in Broadway Road, Shivajinagar, Bengaluru. There is a move presently by the Department of Urban Development to hand over this newly constructed super speciality hospital to Narayana Health.
Public land, public facilities and public property belong to citizens. No such land, property or facility should be handed over to any private entity. Therefore the government’s plan to hand over such a public hospital which has been built using public money which stands on public land to a private/corporate entity is regressive, anti-democratic and threatens the very citizenship of the people of Karnataka. This will jeopardize public interest, facilitate exploitation of vulnerable citizens and further erode the public health system.
This hospital is located in an area in which most citizens are from poor and vulnerable families. Violations, negligence and catastrophic health care expenses have become citizens’ everyday experience in private and corporate hospitals such as Narayana Health. Such experiences have made it clear that private and corporate hospitals always put profits and greed over citizens’ welfare. The recent protests in the state by corporate and private hospitals including Narayana Health against the progressive KPME amendments which claimed more than 30 innocent lives amply demonstrates that they will stop at nothing to protect their profits.
The government has an explicit duty to provide health care to its citizens and to protect them from such greed and exploitation. Therefore establishing a government owned and government managed super specialty hospital providing free health care would have moved towards fulfilling the government’s obligation towards its citizens. Instead the government is planning to hand over this public hospital to a corporate entity. It is clear that such a handover will strip citizens of their entitlements and push them to be at the mercy of Narayana Health. This becomes evident in the various elements in the proposed MoU with Narayana Health which clearly violates citizens’ interests and is a total “sellout”:
1. BBMP’s 100 bedded super specialty hospital will be “leased out” to Narayana Health for a period of 30 years
2. The land value and cost of construction of the hospital is around Rs. 40 crores
3. BBMP is further expected to spend an additional 11.17 crore to get the make the facility “NABH compliant”.
4. But NH plans to invest only Rs. 20 crores.
5. NH will offer “subsidized” care to the “poor”. But this offer of “subsidized” treatment constitutes only 3% of the total hospital revenue.
6. It will allot 10% beds as “free beds” implying that NH can use the remaining 90% beds for profit.
7. Patients will have to bear the cost of implants and medicines.
It is important to recognize that public institutions, public land and public property belong to citizens. The governments of the day, including elected representatives, are merely their custodians. This government hospital has been built using citizens’ money on government land. Therefore nobody has the right to hand it over or transfer its management to private entities.
The government’s proposed handover of such a hospital to a corporate entity is a violation of citizens’ democratic rights. By such a move, the government is pushing citizens from being right-holders to charity-seekers.
We therefore demand that you cancel any contract/proposal that seeks to handover or enter into any form of agreement related to the BBMP super specialty hospital on Broadway Road with Narayana Health. We demand that you ensure that the BBMP hospital in Broadway Road or its management in any form does not involve any private corporate entity in any way. We also urge you to take this opportunity to establish the BBMP super specialty hospital as an efficient, well -run government hospital without involvement of the private sector. This will act as a model for all others to follow. We trust that you will take these actions and protect the interest of citizens.
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