Bengaluru: Private doctors on indefinite strike from today

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Though the bench said it could pass an order, it was refraining, giving time for the doctors to withdraw their strike and directed the state government to address their demands on the stringent provisions in the amendment bill to the Karnataka Private Health Establishment Act, 2007.

The private doctors, however, chose to continue to treat in-patients and attend emergency cases in their hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.

Anyone flouting rules can be penalized.

"The shut down of operations called by PHANA and other associations in Bengaluru has been called off honouring the court", the association's president said.

Of the registered 1.25 lakh doctors in the state, only about 10,000 work in the state-run hospitals, while over a lakh are employed in about 40,000 private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.

More than 25,000 doctors from various private medical hospitals and health care assembled in Belagavi (formerly Belgaum).

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah requested the doctors to call off the strike since dialogue between doctor's and government is still on.

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.

PTI reported one death from Jamakhandi Taluk in Bagalkote district after a gravely-ill woman was taken to a private hospital, where there was allegedly no one to attend to her.

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Upping their ante, the doctors affiliated to five medical bodies in the city had yesterday announced the shutdown of out-patient services till the government dropped its move, which they alleged was "detrimental" to the medical profession.

In a casualty of the strike, students of a school at Ramanagar, who were injured after their van collided with a government bus reportedly faced difficulties after a nearby private hospital allegedly refused to accept the case and referred it to Bengaluru, the police said. "Call meeting with Doctors and talk to them and convince them to go to go back hospital..."

According to PTI, Health Minister Ramesh Kumar said it was not a prestige issue for him.

Looking at the crippling health system in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held a meeting with the state Health Minister Ramesh Kumar.

"We will try to find a solution soon, we are open for discussion with doctors", the minister added.

Unhappy with the minister's response, BJP members walked out of the House demanding immediate resolution even as they claimed that the delay may cause more deaths of patients.

Kumar said that doctors have the responsibility, and by shutting medical services they are making the common man suffer.

ALSO READ | Why are doctors in Karnataka up in arms against the state government? We will close our OPD and elective services.

The Bill was first tabled in the assembly on June 13, and later sent to the joint select committee following opposition by doctors and medical professionals.