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Saturday, 17 June 2017 09:18

15,000 doctors, paramedics protest against bill on regulating charges

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Bengaluru, Jun 17: A day after talks with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, doctors representing various medical associations from across the state staged a protest demanding that the government withdraw the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2017.

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Thousands of doctors under the banner Joint Action Committee-Karnataka on Friday held a protest rally from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna City Railway Station to Freedom Park demanding that the government withdraw the Bill that is aimed at regulating treatment fee among others.

Representatives of at least 25 organisations including Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, Indian Medical Association, Federation of Healthcare Associations-Karnataka and Association of Healthcare Providers-India took part in the protest.

An official release by the committee claimed that 15,000 doctors and paramedics participated in the protest. Some of the prominent doctors who took part in the protests included Dr Devi Shetty of Naryana Health, Dr B S Ajaikumar of HCG and Dr Bhujang Shetty of Narayana Netralaya. Former Lokayukta Judge Santosh Hegde too expressed solidarity with the medical fraternity by addressing the protesters.

“The Bill is not a reasonable classification under the Constitution. It will not even stand the scrutiny of court even for five minutes,” Justice Hegde said.

“It is harsh and unreasonable. Doctors cannot be treated as criminals. It shows double standards. We are forced to step out of hospitals due to this,” said Dr Bhujang Shetty, chairman and managing director of Narayana Netralaya.

The private medical associations submitted a memorandum to the government raising their concerns. The memorandum says that instead of controlling the medical establishments, it tries to control doctors and the profession itself. The Act stipulates formation of a patient charter. It questions the doctor-patient interaction and reassurance, and projects it as a crime, it states.

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