Out-patient service in private hospitals and clinics across Karnataka were affected on Monday as some 50,000 private doctors went on strike in protest against an amendment bill that is meant to regulate their functioning. The meeting between chief minister Siddaramaiah and representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) over the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Act (KPME) on Monday headed for an impasse - the doctors chose to stage a dharna before Suvarna Vidhana Soudha till the legislation is tabled at the legislature session, to demand that some provisions are dropped.A 10-member team of doctors from the IMA held talks with Siddaramaiah on the sidelines of the ongoing legislature session in Belagavi, and sought the deletion of certain penal clauses in the Bill which they found stringent.
Speaking to PTI at Belagavi, national president of Indian Medical Association, Dr Ravi Wankhedakar, said there was anguish among doctors over the bill.
The 10-day Belagavi session began on a stormy note with doctors & paramedical staff protesting against KPMEA Act outside the House Manjula Bai, a resident of Nandini Layout, visited Ananya Hospital in Rajajinagar on Monday as she was suffering from wheezing and cold.
Out-patient service in private hospitals and clinics across Karnataka were affected on Monday as some 50,000 private doctors went on strike.
Dr Ravindra, IMA Karnataka President, said, "I will go into fast unto death from tomorrow itself", if the government passed the act, reported ANI.
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. "Today, the load was slightly more at the OPD (Out-Patient Department) and Casualty", an officer from Wenlock Hospital said. "The government can fix the cost of treating patients under its health scheme in private hospitals but the same cost cannot be applied for treating private or other patients", noted Veeranna. "The Chief Minister told us the amendment bill would be tabled in the assembly on Wednesday and discussed by the lawmakers along with the report of the joint select committee set up to study the provisions".
"We are staging the demo to draw attention of the government and the MLAs against the amendment bill which has anti-doctor and anti-patient provisions that will endanger private healthcare", Veeranna said. The government should not pass the amendments that will affect doctors personally and hospitals in general.