CM to decide fate of KPME Bill

CM to decide fate of KPME Bill

Health services were partially hit in Karnataka yesterday as several private hospitals and nursing homes did not function following protests by doctors against proposed amendments to an Act governing the medical profession.

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. Dr Ajai Kumar, the president of AHPI, said junior doctors would be available in hospitals for emergency services. But with three people dead because of the unannounced strike, it remains to be seen if the state can face a full-fledged private doctors' strike.

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Long associated with the Ram temple movement, Vedanti said that it had been led by the Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and that these two organisations should get an opportunity to hold a dialogue on the issue.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was quoted as requesting a delegation of doctors, who met him at Belagavi, to withdraw their protest, saying the government's intention to bring the amendments to the Act was not to trouble them. The "Belagavi Chalo" protest comes on a day when the government is likely to pass the bill as the Winter Session begins.

While health minister KR Ramesh Kumar has reportedly threatened to quit if the assembly fails to favour the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Bill, 2017 in its original form, his party MLAs are mounting pressure on chief minister Siddaramaiah to dilute the legislation by dropping stringent provisions, including capping of prices, jail term and penalty for erring doctors.

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The out-patient departments in private hospitals, which were shut on Monday across the state, will however resume services from Tuesday. The hospitals have to follow the price chart provided by the state government and can not overcharge it.

Meanwhile, MLC Ivan Desoza tabled the Joint Select Committee report on proposed amendment bill in the house for consideration.

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About 45,000 private hospitals, including 5,000 in Bengaluru, were also shut on November 3, as doctors went on a flash strike, demanding changes in the amendment bill.

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