Mumbai: Billionaire BR Shetty’s Dubai-based group, NMC Healthcare is apparently the winner in the race of acquiring Seven Hills Hospital. The sole bidder for Seven Hills Hospital, the UAE based firm has received consent from BMC health department after the firm agreed to clear all outstanding dues and reserve 20% beds for needy patients as per the hospital’s commitment made to the BMC.
NMC Healthcare is the largest healthcare provider in the UAE and is also listed in the London Stock Exchange. According to its website, with a team of over 2,000 doctors and 18,000 paramedical and support personnel, NMC owns and manages over 135 healthcare facilities that include hospitals, medical centres, long-term care facilities, day surgery centres, fertility clinics and home health services.
Elaborating on the matter BMC official informed TOI that municipal commissioner Ajay Mehta, would be going through the proposal sent to him for the firm’s takeover of the hospital management and after his clearance, the standing committee would scrutinize the same for the final approval.
Seven Hills hospital chain was started by Andhra Pradesh-based medical professional Jitendra Maganti in 1982 and was built in Mumbai under a public-private partnership of nearly Rs 1,000-crore investment. The hospital operates nearly 1500 beds in Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam.
However, as reported by Medical Dialogues earlier, the stars haven’t quite favoured Seven hills over the past few years as the hospital has been facing several woes. The hospital, running through a massive financial crunch has not been able to function as most of the employees as well as the suppliers have refused to work at the organisation on account of lack of payments.
Adding to its misery, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) took stringent action against the hospital over non-payment of Rs 9 crores property tax and in a curt reply sent to a former health committee chairperson stating that the facility has debts amounting to Rs 1,137 crore thereby refusing to take over the hospital.
Further, the Hyderabad Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal declared the 1500-bedded hospital as bankrupt after Seven Hills Healthcare defaulted on bank loans worth Rs 1,300 crore. An insolvency process was started against the hospital management.
The official in charge of the insolvency process invited bids for the management of the hospital. The official met the Additional municipal commissioner (BMC), I A Kundan who while discussing the further procedure insisted that the firm should clear BMC’s dues and also fulfil all the commitments made. In response to which the UAE firm agreed, sources told TOI.
I A Kundan said, “We asked the new management to fulfil all the conditions mentioned in earlier MoU and clear our pending dues. They agreed to our conditions and we have asked for a legal opinion.”