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Doctors plead for Parsee hosp’s last shot at survival

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Request Hong Kong-based philanthropist couple Pervin and Jal Shroff and Medanta Group to extend their deadline to resolve opposition to the new hospital project.

Thirty-seven doctors associated with BD Petit Parsee General Hospital (PGH) have made a last-ditch attempt to save the financially-crippled 107-year-old Cumballa Hill facility. They have appealed to Hong Kong-based philanthropist couple Pervin and Jal Shroff, who warned in November last year of withdrawing their pledge of donating $22.5 million for a new hospital, as well as to Medanta Group of Gurugram, which was to operate, equip and manage the hospital, to extend the deadline for resolution of internal issues.

PGH’s attempt to revive itself had hit a rough patch after some members of the Parsi community moved the charity commissioner, seeking dismissal of the hospital’s managing committee for striking the deal with Medanta without taking the commissioner’s approval and making the details public. The Shroffs and Medanta had warned that if the hospital’s internal issues were not resolved by March 31 this year, they would withdraw their commitments.

PGH doctors have urged them to grant an extension till better reason, understanding and harmony prevails within the Parsi community.

Dr TE Udwadia, renowned gastroenterologist and one of those who have made the appeal, alleged that the hospital project is being “stalled by four to five people” who are claiming that there is a fraud afoot. “Legal documents are vetted by lawyers. Nobody will donate such a huge amount without checking the documents.”

He asserted that this project is PGH’s only shot at survival. “The matter is with the charity commissioner and it keeps getting postponed. The purpose of this new hospital is to look after the poor and destitute people. All investigative tests will be paid for by the hospital. This is an appeal even to those who are opposing, because the hospital cannot survive for long.”

In a statement, the 37 doctors said Medanta has given an assurance that it will equip and manage the new healthcare facility, Shroff Medical Medical Centre, for a fixed period, with no title or interest in the building, and no hint of alienation of the community property.

During this period, Medanta will pay an agreed upon amount to the hospital and a percentage of gross billable revenue, which is expected to help upgrade and run the hospital with far greater efficiency. Medanta has assured that for all patients for whom the hospital does not have adequate facilities for investigation and treatment, their treatment will be covered elsewhere for free or subsidised, according to their financial status. At the end of the agreed tenure, Medanta has assured that it will hand the centre over to PGH.

Stressing that a hospital that has served for a century must not be allowed to fold, the 37 doctors said in a statement: “The project is facing a time limit… Please understand that we doctors have no personal stake, but we see and try to help the plight of the community every day and we know this is the hospital’s and community’s last chance for survival. Please do not destroy the hospital. Do not do irreparable harm to the community.”

Some of the other signatories of the letter are FE Udwadia, TE Udwadia, DM Anklesaria, PD Hakim, RP Soonawala, PP Hakim, K SAdrianwala, BB Pardiwala, DD Nicholson, PF Desai, BB Ichaporia, KP Balsara, NK Tibrewala, ZF Udwadia, AM Havewala and DF Soonawala.

Published on Mumbai Mirror