Over 100 Private Hospitals in Pune Operate Without Valid Licenses

Struggle of Small Hospitals in Pune, Over-Regulation Threatens Closure

Struggle of Small Hospitals in Pune, Over-Regulation Threatens Closure

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Pune, 6 April 2024: Alarming revelations have surfaced, indicating that a significant number of private hospitals in Pune are functioning without the requisite licenses, raising grave concerns regarding regulatory oversight and public welfare. It has been uncovered that the licenses of more than a hundred private hospitals in the city have expired as of March 31, rendering them unauthorized to provide medical services.

Out of the 840 private hospitals operating within the municipal boundaries, 410 were scheduled for license renewal by the conclusion of March. Shockingly, only 268 hospitals availed themselves of the renewal opportunity during the special campaign conducted by the Municipal Health Department from February 22 to March 5. Since then, a meager 40 hospitals have managed to renew their licenses, leaving approximately 100 hospitals operating without proper authorization.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), tasked with regulatory enforcement, imposes nominal fines of Rs 100 per month on hospitals operating without valid licenses, with a maximum penalty capped at Rs 5,000. However, the lack of authority to shut down non-compliant hospitals renders punitive measures ineffective in ensuring adherence to licensing regulations.

Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, Head of Health at the Municipal Corporation, has revealed that notices are being dispatched to hospitals with expired licenses, with ward medical officers instructed to take appropriate action. A forthcoming campaign aims to intensify scrutiny to ensure strict compliance with licensing requirements.

Acquiring certificates from the Fire Brigade and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is imperative for hospital license renewal. However, the cumbersome process of obtaining these certificates contributes significantly to delays in license renewal for many hospitals, as highlighted by Dr. Sanjay Patil, Chairman of the Hospital Board of India (Pune Branch).