The sign announcing the hospital’s new name (in picture left by Bishwarup Dutta); and the board blank in January 2012
• April 2011: AMRI Women and Child Hospital
• December 2011: Vision Care Hospital
• February 2014: AMRI Hospitals: in collaboration with Vision Care
Brand AMRI is back on the signboards of its hospital in Mukundapur after a three-year exile.
The change was apparently carried out after the state government renewed the hospital’s clinical establishment licence last February.
The hospital, located off the Bypass, had come under the scanner in the wake of the fire tragedy at AMRI Dhakuria in December 2011, prompting the management to give the facility a name completely different from the original.
AMRI Women and Child Hospital became Vision Care Hospital when the health department revoked AMRI Dhakuria’s licence and slapped a showcause notice on the Mukundapur unit for running a women and children’s hospital on a plot allotted for a low-cost eyecare centre.
In its newest avatar, the hospital retains its identity as “Vision Care” while restoring the brand name AMRI.
Three names in as many years tell the story of how AMRI has clawed back after its fall from favour following the fire tragedy that claimed 91 lives on December 9, 2011.
“We have verbally informed the state health department about the change of name and they have agreed since Vision Care is still there on the board,” an official of the hospital said.
Since the tag AMRI was reintroduced, occupancy has increased by around 70 per cent, a source said.
“There was lot of confusion among people over the (interim) name. The general perception was that ours was an ophthalmology unit,” said Rupak Barua, group CEO of AMRI Hospitals.
Sources at Swastha Bhavan, the headquarters of the health department, said they agreed to the change in name based on a verbal assurance that the words “Vision Care” would be displayed on the signboards along with the AMRI brand.
The one setback for the hospital has been the department’s refusal to grant a licence for kidney transplants following a recent inspection.
Apart from gynaecology and neonatology, the hospital currently admits male patients for neurology, ENT and general surgery.
The Mukundapur hospital had applied for a licence under the Clinical Establishments Act in mid-2012 after its one-year provisional permit lapsed.
The health department didn’t issue a licence until this February, although it allowed the hospital to operate all along under the name Vision Care. “There is a provision under which a hospital can operate if they have applied for renewal of licence,” a health department official said.
The 150-bed hospital’s occupancy rate as a women and children’s facility under the AMRI banner had been about 60 per cent. Occupancy declined to less than 50 per cent after the name was changed to Vision Care, sources said.
An official of the health department said the decision to allow AMRI to be added to the name Vision Care reflected the change in the government’s position since early last year.
Eight of the AMRI directors had been arrested immediately after the December 2011 fire. They are all out on bail after spending varying periods in jail.
The outpatient department of AMRI Dhakuria reopened in January, two months after acquiring a fresh licence.