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Prince Aly Khan Hospital demolition to begin today 2022-12-26

Monday, 2022, December 26
Prince Ali Khan Hospital at Mazgoan, in Mumbai, India,  (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times)
Somita Pal

Mumbai The demolition of the 70-year-old Prince Aly Khan (PAKH) building, Mazgaon, will begin on Tuesday after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) served them demolition notice on December 23

PAKH had stopped surgeries and hospitalisation on August 20 after the structural audit report showed the main building fall under the Category 1 - dangerous and dilapidated. The hospital management later approached the Bombay high court after the staff continued to take diagnostic tests even after the management announced the shutdown. The second structural audit started on September 12 and the report came on September 27, confirming the results of the first structural audit. The third structural audit carried out by IIT Bombay, which was submitted in the Bombay high court, said the 70-year-old hospital building has gone through several cycles of repairs in the past and is now beyond practical repair. The report said any kind of structural repairs are neither logical nor economically viable. It said the repair of the building is not habitable under seismic conditions.

A press statement issued by the hospital management said they were discontinuing all operations. “The PAKH Board of Trustees are deeply pained by the serious findings and recommendations of all three structural audits, and the subsequent BMC notice under Sec 354 to initiate demolition proceedings of the main office building within seven days and were left with no choice but to discontinue all operations at the hospital in the best interests of all stakeholders,” the statement said. The 154-bed hospital started off as a 16-bed nursing home in 1945. The hospital saw over 170,000 outpatients and 9,000 in-patients every year.

“We will be barricading the building tomorrow and empty the building by selling off the equipment including CT Scan machine. Many hospitals are interested in taking the equipment. We have also called for a tender and advertisement in the newspapers,” said the official.

Along with the main building, which is dilapidated according to the structural audits, the management is going to bring down the two-year-old four floor outpatient building as well.

“We had shut the inpatient department in August, but continued with OPD services as we were awaiting the structural audit reports. Now that the demolition of the main building, which houses the inpatient services, is inevitable, we have sent the notice for closure for the OPD building too. We will be demolishing both the buildings as it is financially not viable to only run OPDs. The small rental amount we get from the doctors for the OPD is not enough to cover the cost of salaries and keeping the building running,” said a senior official from PAKH.

While the management stopped the OPD service from December 21, the intent of closure is for 60 days and all the PAKH will be paid salary and contractual dues till February 19, informed the PAKH official. The hospital’s 950 staff included patient service, front desk, nurses, ward boys, technicians etc. along with some full-time doctors.

Once the hospital buildings are razed, the plot will remain vacant. According to the BMC’s development plan, the area is earmarked for school.

Earlier in the year, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) had announced the expansion plan for PAKH. The 350-bed hospital, which is coming up opposite PAKH’s current location, is presently in the planning stage and will take 5-6 years for completion.

“The building plan is finalised. The hospital will come up phase-wise. It will have 200 beds in the first phase,” said the officer.

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