CM defends KPME Bill; BJP, JD(S) oppose it

CM defends KPME Bill; BJP, JD(S) oppose it

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday took exception to private hospitals protesting against the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Bill even before the legislature takes it up for discussion.

"The government has spoken to doctors several times. The bill, which seeks to regulate private hospitals, is yet to be taken up for discussion in the legislature. It is not proper for doctors to go on strike at this juncture," he told reporters.

He said the bill would come up for discussion in the winter session of the legislature scheduled to start at Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi on November 13. "Suitable amendments to the bill will be brought based on the recommendations of the joint select committee of the legislature."

But he did not clarify whether the government will fulfil the demands of private medical establishments in this regard. Private hospitals closed outpatient services on Friday to protest against the bill. The chief minister further said directions have been issued to the Health Department to take measures to minimise inconvenience to people due to the protest.

Opposition parties, the BJP and the JD(S), too, have raised objections to the bill.

BJP state general secretary Aravind Limbavali said BJP members in the House committee had strongly opposed a provision in the bill that calls for jailing doctors in the event of a patient's death on account of medical negligence. "In its undue haste to regulate private medical services, the government is stifling the medical services per se. Instead of laying emphasis on protecting the interest of the people, the government is making attempts to uproot the entire system."

JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy said his party will vote against the bill.

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