Patients suffer as doctors continue protest

Patients suffer as doctors continue protest

Patients suffer as doctors continue protest

Out-patient services across the city were affected on Thursday as the private medical establishments decided to continue their protest.

Around 22,000 doctors have assembled near Indian Medical Association, Bengaluru to protest against the controversial Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Bill.

Hospitals, Nursing Homes and clinics that are otherwise busy were seen vacant with empty chairs and hardly any paramedic or junior doctors to attend to emergency services.

"The pain is extremely bad. I have been calling the doctors to get an appointment for the past three days, " said A M R Ramesh, a film director, who has been suffering from a post-surgery lower back pain.

Ramesh was in Sri Lanka for three days and returned to the city due to his medical condition. At the Sagar Hospital, in spite of difficult to talk due to the pain, he said,"I have been sitting here for some time now. I am unable to sit due to the pain. But I will have to wait for the senior consultant to come. There are only junior doctors here at present."

While he was waiting at the emergency ward, the receptionist said that the out-patient services are closed indefinitely.

"I have been going to all the clinics and hospitals nearby as  I am suffering from fever for the last three days. The clinics are closed and there are no doctors in hospitals too," said Vijaya, 38 who visited Rajashekhar hospital at JP Nagar.

The shutters of most of the clinics in the city are closed with a notice apologising for the inconvenience and informing that the service will not be provided.

Dr George D'Souza, dean, St John's Medical Hospital said that the hospital receives around 1,500-2,000 out-patients in a day and it was unfortunate that the OPD was closed today. "We receive as many patients as the government hospitals do and our patients come from different states, as far as from West Bengal. We had informed the patients about the closure, however, the hospital did receive few patients in the morning who had to return. Emergency cases were however looked into," he added.

Toufiq, 27, who is a construction worker had come to Apollo for an operation for his uncle, Hunar. They were asked to call on Sunday for an appointment and were unable to meet a doctor.

"The whole team of doctors from Sakra World Hospital are at the protest," said Dr Swaroop Gopal, senior consultant, neuro-surgery, Sakra World Hospital.

He said that a senior police officer from north Karnataka visited the hospital with a brain tumour as the hospitals refused to admit him. He added that even after asking him to approach government hospitals, he insisted on visiting a private hospital.

Private hospitals across the state are protesting against the government's decision to implement the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPMC) Bill in its current form. Representatives from the private medical associations had suggested to the joint select committee of the state legislature to modify the Bill, while the government has gone ahead to pass the bill in its original form.

Doctors of various private medical associations within the city staged a protest at Indian Medical Association, Bengaluru.  

Dr Jayanna, president-elect, Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes association said that the protest will continue until the demands of the doctors are considered.

"We have had several discussions with the government about the changes we have demanded in the amendments. This is not yet addressed. The protest will go on until it is addressed.

DH News Service

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