If everything goes as per plan, hospital and corporation premises will soon look spic and span. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to implement the ban on consumption of paan and tobacco in the premises of its hospitals and offices. The medical education department has also sent a proposal in this regard to the higher authorities for approval.
The BMC-run medical education department, which controls three major hospitals—BYL Nair Hospital-Byculla, LTMG Sion Hospital and KEM Hospital-Parel—has also decided to send the directive to suburban hospitals like RN Cooper, Rajwadi and Bhagwati Hospital.
A BMC rule already stipulates that no one should smoke in hospital and corporation premises as it's legally banned, and it has been fining people found violating this rule.
"Oral cancer is rampant and it has been proven that chewing tobacco products is one of the major reasons for cancer. If we legally ban chewing tobacco products in hospital and corporation premises, that will definitely help maintain good health. We have already send a proposal to higher authorities, and hope to get approval," said Dr Suhasini Nagda, director, medical education, BMC.
She added: "You find people chewing tobacco and spitting on stair cases and corners of hospital wards. We have already initiated an awareness campaign for our staff and officials regarding this. We also undertake periodic check-ups and counselling to reduce and finally curtail the habit of tobacco consumption."
If the proposal is implemented, it will be the first time that a civic body has taken the initiative to ban chewing pan and tobacco to keep hospital and corporation premises clean.
"It's definitely a good initiative. The government should immediately approve the proposal," said Dr Anil Pachnekar, national dean, Indian Medical Association.