The B. D. Parsee General Hospital: Deal undone



BREAKING NEWS


"I have to inform all of you that on the 1st October 2019 I received an e-mail from our munificent donors Jal and Pervin Shroff informing us and the members of the Executive Committee that as the project for the new hospital had unfortunately got 'bogged down by administrative bureaucracy, legal challenges and disruptive opposition from members of our community,' and as the same have not been sorted out enabling construction to start by 1st October 2019, our donors have reluctantly taken a final and irreversible decision to withdraw their financial pledge of US$ 22.5 million." So wrote The B. D. Petit Parsee General Hospital (PGH) president Homa Petit to his colleagues on the Hospital's executive committee on October 3.

"I end with a note of personal regret that an excellent scheme which would have benefited the community, the Hospital, and particularly its poor and needy, has been brought to naught by a few recalcitrant persons within our own community, who will now have to live with their conscience for this unfortunate result," he concluded.

On October 1, Hong Kong based donors Pervin and Jal Shroff, who had pledged USD 22.5 million dollars for the creation of a cosmopolitan hospital from whose turnover PGH would receive a percentage plus a fixed annual amount, wrote to Petit, "Please take this as our final decision to withdraw the final pledge of US $ 22.5 million. Our American philanthropic colleague has also withdrawn his commitment of an additional US $ 5 million due to lack of progress. The decision has not been made 'lightly' - we have considered the implications carefully and would be 'irresponsible' of me at the age of 82 to keep alive a pledge made nearly six years ago. Our family is 100% supportive of the decision."

The Shroffs' pledge was the single largest cash donation ever made to the community (Rs 160 crores, plus an additional Rs 35.46 crores from the other donor).Their objective in making the offer was to ensure a continuous source of income for PGH, many of whose patients are of limited financial means. Two parties opposed the Shroff-PGH proposal and filed objections before the Charity Commissioner.