Skip to main content

Plan to hand over top Ahmedabad hospital to private group a BJP-led "misadventure"

Counterview Desk
Board members of the Vadilal Sarabhai General and Chinai Maternity Hospitals, Ahmedabad, Rupa Chinai, Brijesh Chinai, Jay Sheth and Dr Nishith Shah, who represent the original donor families, have denied reports appearing in the Ahmedabad media of December 17-18, quoting the VSH Board Chairperson and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Commissioner, who reportedly claim that we have “amicably” agreed to reduce the beds in the VSH to 500 from the original 1,160.
“If indeed they said this, then it is a deliberate and gross misinterpretation of facts and truth. The AMC Commissioner and Board Chairperson then stand accused of abusing the dignity of their office in their determined effort to get their way. In order to cover up for their outrageous behavior, they have sought to then issue a Caveat to us, preventing us from obtaining a restraining Court order”, they said in a statement.

Text of the statement:

At the VSH Board meeting on December 14, Friday, the Chairperson announced that VSH would be given 500 beds, while the balance would be transferred to AMC created Medical Education Trust. There and then she sought the passing of a Resolution accepting this proposal. We said we would walk out.
In the discussions thereafter we pressed for details, but the Chairperson said she was in a hurry to get on with the rest of the Agenda and we could have a separate meeting with the Deputy AMC Commissioner the following day on December 15. We specifically clarified that we would need time to understand the implications of this proposal and would get back the following week with our considered response in writing.
On December 15 we did meet with Deputy Municipal Commissioner K Arya and we sought his answers to many questions regarding financing of the hospitals, the source of funding, the future of our staff, equipment and services. It was purely an information seeking, informal dialogue without any conclusion. As we were leaving we were handed notice of another Board meeting to be held on Monday, December 17.
We immediately responded with a letter protesting that yet another Board meeting cannot be held within two days of the last one and that Agenda No 1 which again sought to discuss the issue of 500 beds was not appropriate as the matter was due to come up in the Gujarat High Court this week and therefore sub-judice. We had already stated our case that we required time to consider this proposal and understand its legal and other implications.
On December 17, we deliberately boycotted this Board meeting because we strongly felt that a gun is being held at our head and our compliance is being forced, with or without our assent. This is bullying, brutish tactics and we will not have it.
The AMC proposal to transfer resident doctors to run the AMC-MET multi-speciality hospital is certain to cripple the functioning of the VSH, ensuring permanent damage so that the latter will not be able to continue. The AMC clearly told us that the running cost of the new hospital will be Rs 300 crore a year, so they do not have money to run two hospitals.
If that is the case then what assurance do we have that even the 500 bed hospital will receive adequate funds and staff to continue? They have not provided a blueprint in writing, which ensures accountability and transparency in its working plan. Hence we have nothing to go on in terms of assurance or commitment from the AMC.
The entire effort of the AMC is to prepare for the inauguration of the new hospital by the Prime Minister. They are not offering any clarity on what happens after that. It is clear to us that they intend to hand over this hospital to a private group and run it on a commercial basis, while cutting the oxygen flow to the Sarabhai General and Chinai Maternity Hospitals and ensuring their death.
We feel extremely sorry for the poor citizens of Ahmedabad and the staff of VSH who are at the receiving end of this BJP-led misadventure. Even now we place our faith and hope in the justice system of our country and in its citizens who deeply care about the plight of India’s poor and will fight to ensure they get access to free and quality medical care.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Agricultural reform? Small farmers will be more vulnerable, corporates to 'fix' price

By Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
Agriculture employs 42% of the total work force whereas it contributes only 16% to the country’s GDP. The average annual growth rate in agriculture has remained static to 2.9% since the last six years. This means that the post-green revolution conventional agriculture has reached its peak. Responsiveness of soil fertility to fertiliser application, an indicator of stagnancy in agriculture, shows declining trend since 1970. The worst sufferer has been the small and marginal farmers who constitute 86% of total farmers.