Decision on KPME Bill today: Minister

Decision on KPME Bill today: Minister

Health Minister KR Ramesh Kumar assured the Legislative Assembly on Thursday that the government will arrive at a final decision by today evening on the controversial Karnataka Private Establishments (KPME) Bill, which doctors across the state are vehemently protesting.

"I'm meeting the Chief Minister this evening to find a solution," Kumar said, in response to the Opposition BJP highlighting deaths of patients across the state due to the shut down of outpatient services in the wake of the doctors' strike. The BJP accused the government of being lax, holding Kumar responsible for the deaths of patients.

Kumar strongly defended the Bill and maintained it was in the interest of patients, especially the poor. "We are not against doctors, the medical profession or medical institutions," Kumar said. "No one is highlighting the death of patients when they can't afford treatment. But deaths of patients due to doctors' protest is all over the news," he rued.

The minister rejected the BJP's accusation that it was a matter of prestige for him to get the Bill passed. "The government has an open mind as far as the demands of the doctors are concerned," he said. He also denied reports that he would resign if the Bill was not passed.

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