Bengaluru: Terming the previous amended KPME Bill a disaster, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, founder and chairman of Narayana Health, on Friday said that he, the other doctors and Indian Medical Association’s state members have all called off the strike and will resume work from Saturday after an amicable solution after a four-hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Health Minister Ramesh Kumar and a delegation of doctors in Belagavi.
“The meeting was favourable and the imprisonment clause has been removed totally. This has restored our faith in the government," he said.
Office-bearers of IMA, AHPI, FHA-K and KPMEA, and on behalf of PHANA, Dr Madan S. Gaekwad, Dr Nagendraswamy, Dr C. Jayanna, Dr Prasanna and Dr R. Ravindra attended the meeting.
At the meeting, it was decided that the District Registration Committee (DRC) will also function as the Grievance Redressal Committee and it will not only address the patients’ grievance, but also the grievances of doctors and medical establishments. Cases related to medical negligence will be referred to the Karnataka Medical Council and cases related to overcharging and the like will be decided by the committee.
Imprisonment clauses will be removed and monetary penalties reduced. Patients, who file frivolous complaints, will also be penalised. The rates, which will be fixed, will be applicable only to government schemes and BPL patients. The doctors are set to resume duty across the state on Saturday.
Health activists angry
But the changes to the KPME Bill amendments angered many health activists.
“The unilateral decision by the chief minister in unilateral consultation with those who are supposed to be regulated, while leaving out those who are to be protected by the regulation is undemocratic and disappointing. This whole process has shown that the private corporate mafia is in control and this regulation will lead to even more impunity,” said Dr Sylvia Karpagam, a public health activist in the city.
“We demand that the government pass the KPME amendments as it is. The government is speaking to doctors, but not to patient rights groups. The talks must be with all. Doctors have gone on strike based on misinformation without reading the amendments. They must read the amendments. The government should not bow to the private hospital lobby and dilute the amendments," said Vinay Sreenivasa from Alternative Law Forum....