Amendments proposed to a new Bill to govern private medical institutions in Karnataka, including increased liability on doctors for medical negligence, resulted in a daylong strike by doctors at outdoor patient departments in private hospitals across the state on Friday.
The doctors are opposing the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which is proposed to be tabled by the Congress government during a legislative session later this month. The Bill was stalled in June due to protests by private hospitals and doctors.
“The proposed amendment to the KPME Act is detrimental to the medical profession,’’ president of the Indian Medical Association’s Karnataka unit H N Ravindra said.
In June, the private medical establishment in Karnataka led by prominent doctors such as Dr Devi Shetty had protested against the state government’s move to regulate functioning of private hospitals by prescribing treatment costs and punitive action for violations. The Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 pushed by Health Minister Ramesh Kumar had led to a division of opinion within the Congress. The Bill was later sent for review.
Private doctors are demanding that the state focus on lifting the standards of care at government hospitals before attempting to regulate private medical establishments and their doctors.
“I do not know what the private doctors are protesting about now,’’ the health minister said on Friday.