The IMA has announced the launch of a relay hunger strike as the doctors embark on the ‘Belagavi Chalo’ protest march on November 13, the first day of the State legislature winter session.

As Karnataka Assembly session starts pvt doctors to go on relay hunger strikePTI
news Health Monday, November 06, 2017 - 17:16

Private medical care is likely to be affected in Karnataka, as doctors plan to up the ante against the state government on the issue of proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act.

The doctors have announced that they will launch a relay hunger strike as they embark on the ‘Belagavi Chalo’ protest march on November 13.

“We have unanimously decided to oppose the amendments in every way possible. The ‘Belagavi Chalo’ march will coincide with the first day of the session. The relay hunger strike will go on till our demands are met,” Indian Medical Association (IMA) State unit president Dr HN Ravindra said on Sunday following a meeting of its members.

Karnataka Health Minister KR Ramesh Kumar is set to table the bill during the winter session.

“We will be taking 25,000 doctors to Belagavi on the first day of the winter session to protest against the proposed amendments to the KPME Act. Patient services will go on as usual, but outpatient services may get affected as we will take many doctors along,” IMA Karnataka Secretary Dr B Veeranna told The New Indian Express.

However, they claimed that medical treatment won’t be affected in other parts of the state.

Read: Bengaluru private hospitals wear an empty look as 60,000 doctors go on strike

On November 3 when the doctors had gone on strike, CM Siddaramaiah had said that the step was unnecessary as the Bill is only set for discussion, stressing that it was aimed at making healthcare more affordable.

Speaking to TNM, Dr Ravindra had said that doctors will even consider quitting their profession if their demands are not met, calling the law “draconian”.

The doctors said that they primarily oppose the formation of a new district-level grievance redressal forum, criminal prosecution and capping of prices, as proposed in the bill.

Read: All private hospitals in Karnataka to be shut on Nov 3 as doctors go on strike

However, the Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali (KJC), an NGO working for patients’ rights, maintained that there was a need to regulate private medical healthcare.

“We urge all the MLAs to respond to the pain and suffering of patients who bear the brunt of exploitation by private hospitals. We urge MLAs to unanimously approve the amendments to the Act,”  The Hindu  quoted Akhila Vasan of KJC as saying.



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