BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte suspended a senior interventional radiologist attached to Parel's KEM Hospital during a surprise visit on discovering that the doctor was absent without intimation and had been irregular for the past few months.
Dr Uday Limaye is the third doctor suspended by the BMC for conducting private practice during working hours.
According to a source close to the dean's office, Kunte had summoned a few doctors during his visit. Unable to find Dr Limaye, an associate professor, the commissioner inquired with the hospital administration to find that Dr Limaye had a history of absenteeism without intimation.
"He never answers the hospital administration's queries regarding his absence during working hours. In past few months, the frequency of his absence had gone up. Wednesday's absence was the last straw," said the source.
Dr Shubhangi Parker, acting dean of KEM Hospital, said, "Dr Limaye had been under our scanner for a long time. During most of our surprise checks, we found him absent from the hospital during working hours though he was marked present. An inquiry committee set-up against him had also found him guilty. The report has now been submitted to higher authorities."
Dr Limaye had allegedly been given several memos and show-cause notices over the past six months, but disregarded them and continued with his private practice.
To curb private practice by its doctors during working hours, the BMC had written to private hospitals, asking them not to allow their doctors to practice between 9 am to 4 pm.
"Dr Limaye is a senior doctor. It is extremely sad that we have to take such steps against him. Repeated absence of doctors in the hospital puts a strain on the patients' healthcare and the hospital staff. We are not against private practice, but it should be done after work hours. Civic hospitals are for the poor, who cannot afford treatment at private hospitals. Seniors should set an example for their juniors," said Dr Parker.