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Karnataka’s private doctors call off protest as state government drops some provisions in the Bill

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Monday, November 20, 2017, 12:55 Hrs  [IST]

Karnataka’s private doctors and hospitals have called off their protest against the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The move follows the State High Court giving an ultimatum to the doctors to return to work. The doctors are hoping that a favourable modified Bill will be table today at Belagavi.
 
The breakthrough in talks came hours after the court issued an ultimatum to the doctors to either end their strike or face the consequences. The bench reprimanded the doctors for taking the issue to the streets, and said 'right to life' was a basic human right as also a fundamental right.
 
Meanwhile a Bengaluru-based advocate has initiated a legal course against the Dr Ravindra, president Indian Medical Association, Dr B Veeranna, and other members holding them responsible for the 51 fatalities reported as doctors failed to attend the cases.
 
In a major discussion with the doctors Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, said that the Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 government agreed to concede some of their demands and rejected a few.

In the chief minister Siddaramaiah took the doctors to task for going on strike even though the Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was yet to be tabled.
 
According to a section of doctors, the government decided to reduce severe penalty clauses and continue the jail term for erring doctors which is putting away to the 2007 version of the Bill. Also, the government is learnt to have agreed to cap prices only for patients availing treatment under the government's Universal Health Scheme.
 
Following a favourable response from the government, we took a decision to call of the strike. The modified bill is more people friendly and the trust between the doctor and patient is seen to come through. The big issue was that doctors were treating patients with the apprehension that complaints would come through if the treatment was not beneficial, said Dr. Ravindra.
 
Although the protesting doctors think that they are satisfied with the outcome, the activists are of the view that the revised Bill is diluted and that patients are helpless to the impulsive decisions taken during the treatment procedure.

 

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