Karnataka Doctors Call Off Strike After Meeting Siddaramaiah

Doctors in Karnataka had announced a strike over proposed amendments to an act aimed at making them accountable for medical negligence but criticised by some for being draconian.

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Karnataka Doctors Call Off Strike After Meeting Siddaramaiah

Doctors in Karnataka have called off the strike over the KPME Bill.


Karnataka:  Private doctors in Karnataka have called off their protests against amendments in the KPME or Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Bill following a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the north Karnataka town of Belagavi where the legislature session is on.

Dr Sudarshan Ballal of the Manipal Group of Hospitals, told NDTV, "We are hopeful that our concerns will be addressed and we have called off the protest." The protest had crippled health services in private hospitals and nursing homes.

The Chief Minister's office said that the Health Minister, Ramesh Kumar, has stood firm on the issue and had said that he could not consider patients as consumers - and that he was biased on the side of the people.

The High Court in Karnataka is also hearing a related matter - with the next hearing on Monday - and had strongly criticised the doctors for the protest.

The amendments to the act aimed to make doctors accountable for medical negligence.

Among the big concerns that doctors had over the changes was a proposal to cap costs of procedures and treatments in private hospitals. Dr Ballal said this would now be looked at by a committee and would apply only to government health schemes. Another threat of jail terms for doctors who violate provisions of the Act may be dropped from the amendments.

The amendments are likely to be tabled in the legislature on Monday and doctors are hopeful that the parts that bother them would be rewritten.

On Wednesday, OPDs in private hospitals across the state has shut down - putting patients to great difficulty.

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