The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed protesting private medical practitioners to return to work immediately. Doctors of private hospitals and nursing homes who have gone on an indefinite strike against the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) bill have been directed by the court to resume services immediately.
Karnataka High Court bench comprising acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and Justice Dinesh Kumar on Friday directed all private medical practitioners and medical establishments to restore their services.
"Right to life is a basic human right. A person's right to get treated under article 21 is fundamental. Keeping this in view, we request all private doctors who are on strike to call it off to avoid inconvenience to the patients. Doctors cannot be insensitive to the plight of patients. If there are grievances the court will hear it," the bench observed.
The High Court's direction comes on the day a group of representatives of private practitioners met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Belagavi over the KPME bill. The state invited doctors to negotiate over the bill after they called for an indefinite strike across the state starting Thursday. On Friday, citizens organisations also demonstrated in Bengaluru in support of the bill. Citizens, contrary to the doctors' claims, held that the bill was pro-poor and pro-people and demanded that it be implemented at the earliest.
On Thursday, PHANA, one of the private doctors' organisations withdrew its protest and asked its members to return to work. Private practitioners have been opposing four amendments made to the KPME bill, one of those that also include imprisonment and fine for wrong diagnosis and cap on prices for procedures at private medical establishments.