Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Bengaluru: 22000 Private Doctors on Strike to Protest Karnataka Medical Bill

Chief Minister chairs a Congress Legislature Party meeting at Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi on Wednesday. The CLP meet is expected to decide the fate of the contentious KPME Bill Why are Karnataka doctors protesting? All you need to know about the Bill
Marlene Weaver | 16 November, 2017, 14:08

Out-patient services in private hospitals across Karnataka was affected on Monday as some 50,000 private doctors went on a strike to protest against an amendment bill meant to regulate their functioning.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice and Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar made these oral observations.

The state high court stepped into the row as 6,000 private medical establishments - barring emergency services - were closed.

Doctors said deaths purportedly caused by the shutdown of outpatient services were being given publicity to discredit private medical establishments. He claimed that inputs from doctors have also been taken into account.

The government has cancelled all leaves of doctors and nurses to handle the increasing number of outpatients as the OPDs in private hospitals have stopped functioning. Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association President Dr C. Jayanna said, "From tomorrow, all 600 private hospitals clinics and 22000 doctors will go on strike".

The demonstration comes on the backdrop of a similar protest on November 3, when at least 50,000 doctors from across Karnataka had "abstained from duties" for 24 hours.

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Siddaramaiah had appealed to the doctors to call off their stir, saying the government's intention to bring the amendments was not to trouble them.

Devi Shetty, founder and chairman of Narayana Hrudalaya, said the Bill was an attack on the fraternity. Will government at least consider this as a lesson and improve the conditions of the government hospitals?

Politicians from all major parties run medical colleges and hospitals and have been opposing the KPME Bill in its current form.

"Though Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held talks with us (five representatives of the IMA's state chapter) and assured us of looking into our demands, we will not budge till "punitive" provisions were withdrawn", noted the Secretary. He said that the bill was not even tabled yet and the doctors were putting lives at risk with their agitation. "Is it right on their part to continue protesting?" he said.

"When I have told them they will be consulted, are they justified in protesting?"

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