Don’t use civic doctors during duty hours, BMC warns 110 pri
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In a bid to deter civic doctors from private practice during BMC’s working hours, the corporation shot a letter to over 110 private hospitals and nursing homes in the city on Friday, refraining them from using the services of corporation doctors between 9am and 4pm.

Private hospitals, as well as the doctors, could face serious disciplinary action, including cancellation of licences, if they are found violating the rules, the BMC said.

While the corporation allows private practice outside of their working hours, there have been instances in the past few years, where doctors were missing from their OPD or consultation duties at public hospitals and found working elsewhere.

An estimated 25-30% of BMC’s 1,200-odd doctors are believed to work in private hospitals or run their own clinics. BMC officials said that it was the first time that private hospitals across the city were being warned against assigning OPD, medical or surgical work to BMC doctors during the stipulated hours.

Confirming the action, additional municipal commissioner Ashwini Joshi told TOI the letters were to inform hospitals about BMC’s working hours and policies so that they fall in line. “We have drawn up a list of doctors running private practices from all our medical colleges and written to the concerned private hospitals where they work. The point is to inform them that the doctors are paid with taxpayers money and their priority ought to be patients coming to civic hospitals,” she said. She added that though rare, there were instances of doctors swiping in at 9am and then going to their private clinics before returning to swipe out at 4pm.

“After the letters, if anyone is caught breaking the rules, action will be taken against both the doctor and the private hospital,” she said.

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