Close to 22,000 private doctors in Bengaluru alone will go on an indefinite strike from Thursday. OPD services, elective surgeries, diagnostic centers, clinics etc will remain shut according to the Karnataka Private Doctors association. Emergency services, dialysis, cancer care and emergency diagnostic services will remain unaffected.
The protesting doctors will assemble in Bengaluru on Thursday to stage a 'silent protest' against the tabling of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act (Amendment) bill in the ongoing assembly session at Belagavi. Doctors have demanded that four amendments to the proposed amendment bill be dropped. Close to 6,000 hospitals, diagnostic centers, special surgical homes, clinics are likely to be shut for Outpatient services on Thursday in Bengaluru alone.
"We do not want to inconvenience the patients but the bill will mean doom for private hospitals as well as patients. We demand that the government drop the amendments. We do not understand what the Karnataka health minister wants through this bill. It will mean the end of our profession and the government does not have the sources to treat all patients at government hospitals," said Dr. Jayanna, President-Elect, KPME association
Doctors have been protesting against the Siddaramaiah government's attempt to table the bill, that includes price regulation for procedures at private hospitals and punishment including imprisonment for wrong treatment against doctors. Doctors have alleged that the bill is an election gimmick by the government. Talks between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and representatives of protesting doctors failed to yield any results on Tuesday.