Hello Mumbai City Desk :
The Real Rat in BMC Hospitals
AAP Mumbai exposes the “outsourcing” racket in BMC ICUs
In the early hours of 22nd June 2021, Shrinivas Yellappa, aged 24, who was lying unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit of BMC run Rajawadi Hospital, was attacked by rats. His lower eye and cheek was bitten off. The incident only came to light when the patient’s sister visited him, noticed the bandages and demanded an explanation. This incident highlighted many shameful issues – the abysmal hygiene in an ICU; the total absence of intensive monitoring that allowed a rat to make a meal of a human being; the callousness of the management in trying to conceal it. Sadly, the patient passed away the next day. The hospital Dean Dr. Vidya Thakur and Mumbai Mayor Ms. Kishori Pednekar promised an inquiry and like all inquiries of the BMC and the MVA Government at large, it has been relegated to the dustbin.
The Aam Aadmi Party then uncovered a shocking fact – the intensivist services of the ICU were outsourced to an agency! We demanded action against the agency but were surprised when both the Dean and the Mayor quickly absolved them of all blame and laid it on some amorphous “administration”. Should the Doctors of the agency not have been monitoring the patient when this incident occurred? Should they have not called out the lack of hygiene earlier? Should they have not informed the relatives?
And herein lies the scam – 133 ICU beds (list attached) of BMC hospitals have been “outsourced” to agencies who are mostly indirectly owned by bureaucrats and politicians at the rate of Rs.2200 per bed, per day makes it Rs.292,000 per day and that makes it a scam worth 10,65,80,000 per year. It was meant to be a two year contract but has been extended infinitely.
In the case of Rajawadi the agency that provides intensivists for the 21 ICU beds is “Critical Care and Associates” bearing PAN Number AAMFC5229K, through partners Dr. Rajesh Teckchandani, and Ms. Arpita Malik and having its address at 10, Pushpa Griha CHS, 603 PD Hinduja Marg, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050. Ms. Arpita Malik is a BMC employee – she is a PRO in BSES Municipal Hospital in Andheri. Interestingly she is the daughter of Dr. Seema Malik, retired Medical Superintended of the BMC and former boss of Dean Dr. Vidya Thakur. During the pandemic another 10 beds were added and the same agency was given the contract, without a new tender but at a new inflated rate of Rs.3800 per bed per day!
In fact the question here is, is Critical Care and Associates a legitimate vendor? A Rate Circular dated May 2018 shows that there is fudging by pen to change “Critical Care Associates” to “Critical Care AND Associates”. Critical Care Associates is a distinct identity with PAN Number AAGFC2734F with Mr. Rewa Shankar Awasthy and Dr. Rajesh Teckchandani as partners, and its address is the one printed in this circular “39/C Bhagwati Society, Linking Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai 400054”.
Aam Aadmi Party Mumbai demands the following:
• How can a BMC employee get contracts from the BMC?
• Is Critical Care & Associates the company that actually won the tender or did the Maliks just take over the contract from Dr Teckchandani’s other firm by tricking the BMC with a similar name? As per tender norms, participating companies must have a work experience of at least 3 years, with a sizeable turnover but Critical Care AND Associates was only formed in late 2017, less than a year before this tender.
• Why is the contact extended beyond its duration?
• Why were the next ten beds given at the rate of Rs.3800? Was it tendered?
• Why is Critical Care And Associates not been held accountable for the shameful rat incident?
“Healthcare is one of the BMC’s primary responsibilities, and the civic administration cannot abdicate it by any means whatsoever. The pandemic has shown us that the primary job of our governments is to provide us with healthcare and outsourcing the most critical function of the ICU, with zero accountability, is unacceptable. The BMC has contracted away schools, BEST, almost all services, and now even healthcare, then exactly what is the role of the 227 elected corporators and army of bureaucrats?” said AAP Leader Preeti Sharma Menon
AAP demands that the outsourcing of ICUs be brought to an end and if Critical Care AND Associates is proven to be impersonating another agency then the partners should be arrested immediately and charged with fraud.
21 – Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar
12 – Siddharth Hospital, Goregaon
30 – Bharatratna Dr Baasaheb Ambedkar Hospital, Kandivali
10 – K B Bhabha Hospital, Kurla
20 – Pt Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, Govandi
10 – Kranitkari Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Hospital, Vikroli
30 – M T Aggarwal Hospital, Mulund
133 beds outsource at the rate of Rs.2200 per bed, per day makes it Rs.292,000 per day and that makes it a scam worth 10,65,80,000 per year.