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BMC keen to implement separate fee structure for outsiders at its hospitals

Politicians who had opposed the introduction of a separate fee structure for outside patients seeking treatment at the city’s civic and government-run hospitals are now hesitant to implement the policy due to vote bank considerations.

The BMC, however, is keen to implement the policy but has held off for now because the Code of Conduct is in place.

While presenting the health budget for 2024-25, former BMC commissioner Dr Iqbal Singh Chahal had announced a separate fee structure for patients from other parts of India. The aim of the policy was to reduce the burden on city hospitals.

A senior health official said on condition of anonymity that introducing a separate fee structure for outsiders would lead to a backlash from voters.

Political Ramifications Of Separate Fee Structure For Outsiders In Mumbai Hospitals

According to the health department, the proportion of patients coming from outside Mumbai and nearby provinces is 10% 20%. Most of these patients are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and south India – and these are the vote banks of political parties.

“Political parties cannot afford to lose their vote banks if a separate fee structure is implemented considering health is priority for everyone. Its impact will be seen on the ballot box,” the official said.

“Every party has its vote bank in Mumbai. Those from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are BJP, Congress and Samajwadi Party supporters; patients coming from rural areas of Maharashtra vote for the Shiv Sena and MNS,” a BJP worker in Ghatkopar said. Free Press Journal

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