KPME bill passed in Karnataka legislative assembly
The Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) amendments bill was passed on Wednesday in Karnataka legislative assembly.
The Bill was drafted based on the recommendations of a joint select committee of the legislature and on discussions with delegates of doctors' associations.
In the new bill, the proposal to imprison doctors in case of wrong diagnosis or criminal negligence has been dropped. Instead, the bill now proposes "penalty" and "suspension".
The bill proposes to regulate the cost of medical procedures under its health insurance schemes and says that hospitals must hand over bodies of deceased patients to the next of kin without insisting on payment of dues.
It also includes the creation of Registration and Grievance Redressal Authority in each district that can look into complaints, especially about violations of patients' rights.
The bill was first tabled in the assembly on June 13 and later sent to the joint select committee after opposition by doctors and medical professionals.
The bill also stated that complaints pertaining to negligence,non-adherence to standard protocols for treatment, procedures and prescription audit shall be referred to the Karnataka Medical Council for inquiry.
The doctors had called off the strike after meeting Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and an interim order by the Karnataka High Court, directing the agitating doctors to restore forthwith their medical services.
Earlier, participating in the debate, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar,JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy and several other legislators had expressed reservations about government doctors and hospitals being kept out of the bill purview.