Bengaluru : Private doctors strike hits patient care in State ….

Bengaluru : Out-patient service in private hospitals and clinics across the State were affected on Monday as thousands of private doctors went on strike in protest against an amendment bill that is intended to regulate their functioning.

“Out-patients will not be seen or treated in private hospitals or clinics across the state as our members are on strike against the (amendment to the) Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act,” Indian Medical Association (IMA) state Secretary B. Veeranna told.

The private hospitals, however, will have minimum doctors on duty to admit or look after in-patients and provide emergency services.

Private doctors from across the state are also staging a day-long demonstration at Belagavi, where the winter session of the Karnataka legislature began on Monday.

Veeranna said “We will resort to relay hunger strike from Tuesday at Belagavi if the government does not respond to our demand to drop the draconian provisions in the amendment bill.

About 45,000 private hospitals, including 5,000 in Bengaluru, were shut on November 3 as doctors went on flash strike, demanding changes in the bill with penal provisions, including imprisonment, hefty fines and regulating costs for various treatments or surgeries in private hospitals and clinics.

Karnataka Health Secretary Ajay Seth has directed all government hospitals to depute more doctors in the out-patient department to cope with the rush from private hospitals or clinics.

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