Karnataka: Private Doctors in Bengaluru calls off strike

Here is why private doctors are scared of KPME Bill

As per the recent reports, Bengaluru private hospital doctors moved to indefinite strike protesting against the penal provisions in the amendment bill.

Dr HN Ravindra, president of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Karnataka, told Hindustan Times, "If the government sets up a law this way, doctors are going to be extremely wary of taking up risky cases, as the bill even proposes imprisoning the doctors for up to three years and imposing a fine of Rs5 lakh".

The strike was supported by more than 20 associations of private doctors are supporting this strike and doctor's have said strike will not be called of till Karnataka government withdraws this bill.

Although the private doctors had said that they would take up emergencies, dialysis and chemotherapy services, The Hindu reported that some hospitals are refusing the life-saving dialysis too for needy patients.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had called on state Health Minister Ramesh Kumar to discuss the doctors' strike.

Summary: The Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act, 2007 was passed with the aim of regulating private sector medical establishments.

With more than 22,000 doctors joining the protests from Bengaluru alone, the strike has reportedly caused several deaths across Karnataka as the patients remain unattended to.

The four main demands are inclusion of government doctors under the KPME Act, no grievances redressal committees, no penalty on erring doctors or their imprisonment for the death of any patient due to medical negligence and ceiling on cost of treatment only for government health schemes under which eligible patients are treated in private hospitals or clinics.

Government-run Victoria Hospital, KC General Hospital and Bowring Hospital, the three prominent hospitals of Bengaluru, saw a sudden rush of patients.

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The state government had included stringent provisions in the amendment bill to regulate the functioning of private hospitals, including their costs of treatment and redressing the grievances of their patients.

She was rushed to government hospital, but died on the way, her family alleged.

Two children were killed and seven others injured in the accident, they said.

Stormy scenes were witnessed in the Karnataka assembly because of the strike with the Opposition BJP saying the situation must be resolved immediately, or it may lead to even more deaths.

The minister said he has no plans to resign if the Bill was not tabled during the session as reported by some sections in the media. The government said it was ready to talk to agitating doctors and would try to find solution to the issue. "Call meeting with Doctors and talk to them and convince them to go to go back hospital..."

"We will try to find solution soon, we are open for discussion with doctors".

Kumar said doctors have a responsibility and by shutting medical services they were making the common man suffer.

He added that the government had no intention of harassing private doctors or hospitals.

"As we empanelled you and we have to pay you tax payers money for services, we have to fix charges for services.", he said.

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