Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Medical | By Alyssa Little

Bengaluru: Private doctors on indefinite strike from today

Bengaluru: Private doctors on indefinite strike from today

"OPDs in all private hospitals have been shut as we have chose to continue our strike till the penal provisions are withdrawn", Karnataka Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) President-elect C. Jayanna told IANS here.

Besides, chief minister Siddaramaiah has invited the Indian Medical Association, private medical establishments and all stakeholders to discuss the Bill on Friday November 17 at 2 pm.

He was replying to the opposition BJP, which raised the issue of doctors' protest and reported deaths of several patients across the state, in the Assembly even as the medical practitioners intensified their stir in private hospitals and clinics.

The main demands of the striking doctors on the amendment bill 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 a patient due to medical negligence and ceiling on cost of treatment should be applicable to only government health schemes under which eligible patients are treated in private hospitals.

The amendments to the Bill are in "public interest" and the government was willing to address the concerns of the private hospitals and their doctors, the Chief Minister added.

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A day-long protest that witnessed the closure of out-patient services across the state is called off following a request by high court.

Health services had been hit in Karnataka twice earlier this month as private hospitals and nursing homes failed to function following protests against the proposed amendments.

The four-day strike began on Tuesday.

The proposed amendments would allow the government to cap treatment costs, would force private hospitals to adhere to set standards of infrastructure and staffing; and would force them to display, prominently, a patient's charter enumerating their rights.

Alleging the proposed KPME Act amendments as "detrimental" to the medical profession, doctors announced complete shutdown of the out-patient services. But the four other private doctors associations stuck to their decision to stop OPD services indefinitely from today.

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

In Jamakhandi Taluk in Bagalkote district, a seriously ill woman was taken to a private hospital, but allegedly there were none to attend her. He complained of chest pain following which his family frantically rushed him to one hospital to another only to be denied treatment leading to his death eventually.

The crippling of medical services led to furore in the Karnataka Assembly, presently in progress in Belagavi.

ALSO READ | Why are doctors in Karnataka up in arms against the state government?

BJP meanwhile, accused Kumar of taking it as a "prestige issue", instead of amicably resolving the problem.

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"As we empanelled you and we have to pay you tax payers money for services, we have to fix charges for services.", he said. The chief minister assured them that the bill will be tabled only after the consent of doctors.

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