The doctors said that they will go on a hunger strike on Tuesday.

Private hospital doctors in Karnataka to continue strike as talks with CM turn futile
news Protest Monday, November 13, 2017 - 19:43

Over 25,000 doctors went on a ‘Belagavi Chalo’ protest on Monday, demanding that the Karnataka government drop the proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act (KPMEA).

Outpatient services were shut across the state in private hospitals as doctors refused to work.

On Monday afternoon, Dr Ravindra, President-elect of the Indian Medical Association and a few representatives of private hospitals met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Belagavi’s Suvarna Soudha.

After the meeting with the Chief Minister, Dr Ravindra said that the doctors’ demand of removal of the grievance redressal committee was not met.

“We will continue the protest. One of our primary demands was that the grievance redressal committee should not be there. We had disagreements over this. We will go on a hunger strike tomorrow (Tuesday),” he said.

“Out-patients will not be treated in private hospitals as we are protesting against KPMEA,” he added.

Chief Minister Siddaramiah said that had spoken to the doctors on Monday.

“I have told them that another round of talks will be held after I discuss the issue with Health Minister Ramesh Kumar,” he said.

The CM added that he urged the doctors to go back to work and call off the strike.

“I have told them (doctors) that the purpose of the new amendment is not to harm them but to ensure that poor patients are not affected. I have also ensured them that this will not hurt them in any way,” Siddaramaiah added.

Lashing out against the Congress government’s decision to amend the KPME Act, JD(S) President, HD Kumaraswamy said that the proposal was “unscientific”.

“What was the purpose of this ridiculous amendment? It looks like the Congress government is trying to remove the entire health department. The amendments are most unscientific and is hurting more people than making it better,” HD Kumaraswamy said.

The new Bill states that a Local Inspection Committee can barge into the hospital at any given point of time and seize any equipment. Doctors don’t have the right to speak to the lawyer till he or she gets arrested, in the event of a complaint being filed.

The IMA has also objected to provisions for a grievance redressal committee, which will be set up at the district level to look into complaints of negligence and the cap on prices for various kinds of services.


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