IMA warns of OPD shutdown if no action against KRV

Expressing solidarity with the protesting postgraduate students, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has threatened to shut OPDs of all hospitals if the state government fails to arrest members of a pro-Kannada group in two days.

On Saturday, an altercation took place between members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) activists and a post-graduate student at the Minto Ophthalmic Hospital who refused to respond in Kannada to their demand for compensation to patients blinded during a cataract camp. The Postgraduate students have been striking for three days now asking for enhanced security and action against activists who threatened to hold the student back if she did not apologise.

Doctors from various groups, including office bearers of the IMA, joined the protesting PG students demonstrating in front of the OPD department at Victoria Hospital on Tuesday.

Secretary of IMA’s Karnataka branch Dr Srinivasa S said the association would give the state government two days to look into the demands of the students. “We do not want to shut down services without giving them time. On Wednesday and Thursday, we will wear black badges in a symbolic protest. If the issue is not resolved, we will stop OPD services at all hospitals in the state,” he said.

He added that at a time when the government has been allotting seats to students from the All India quota to various colleges, it is unfair for anyone to expect the students to learn the local language that soon. “Even our students are studying at medical colleges in other states. It is unfair to expect them to speak the language immediately,” he added.

Dr Srinivasa said the existing legislation to protect doctors has been watered down and anyone committing crimes against doctors can secure bail.

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