No bidders for BMC's cancer hospital; civic body to revise tender terms

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's first-of-its-kind initiative to run an affordable cancer specialty hospital on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis has already run into trouble. After invitation of bids for the proposed cancer hospital failed to generate a response from private firms, the corporation is now contemplating relaxing its tender conditions.

"We had invited bidders and were to have a pre-bid meeting earlier this month, but no one came forward. We are identifying which of the conditions may have led to this," said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar, in charge of the civic public health department.

Based on the results of a gap analysis survey of health infrastructure in Mumbai, the affordable cancer treatment facility is proposed to be set up on Ahilyabai Holkar maternity hospital plot in Mazgaon. The hospital is expected to have a capacity of 75-100 beds. The cost of treatment will be similar to that at Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) in Parel.

"We are now reworking the tender conditions and may water these down to attract bidders. We will come out with a new proposal by the end of the month. We are not looking at any specific group, all companies are welcome," Mhaiskar said.

After the failure of the BMC's PPP project with SevenHills Hospital for a super-specialty hospital on a seven-acre plot in Marol, Andheri (east), the corporation planned to be extra cautious in its new cancer specialty project and had outlined stricter tender norms.

"We have a bank of experience after dealing with SevenHills Hospital. We have ensured there is no repeat of it in the tender contract," said Mhaiskar had said earlier.

SevenHills Hospital was to reserve 20 per cent of its beds (around 400 beds) for low-income groups, charging them for services at civic hospital rates. BMC, which claimed that the private hospital did not fulfil these conditions, was locked in a legal dispute with Seven Hills for the past two years.

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