Doc stir off as govt agrees to drop stringent clauses

Doc stir off as govt agrees to drop stringent clauses

Under pressure from striking doctors, the state government on Friday agreed to water down the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Bill.

The revised bill will drop jail for doctors and exclude clinical complaints from the purview of the district redress committees.

Doctors, as a result, called off their five-day-old strike. Earlier in the day, the high court had expressed shock at the continued shutdown of outpatient services in the districts. Terming the right to life fundamental, it pulled up doctors for not heeding its request to restore services.

Doubts cleared: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced the truce.

"The doctors had fears, doubts and a sense of terror. These have been clarified and we have agreed to make some changes," he told a press conference after meeting doctors here.

Narayana Health founder Dr Devi Shetty and Manipal Hospitals chairman Dr H Sudarshan Ballal were among those who represented private medical establishments at the meeting.

A revised bill will be tabled in the Assembly on November 20, Siddaramaiah said.

"We have convinced doctors and at the same time, we have safeguarded the interests of the common man," he told reporters.

 All imprisonment clauses will be dropped, except for those running medical establishments without registration.

"It was agreed upon that clinical complaints will be handled by competent bodies such as the Karnataka Medical Council or the Medical Council of India," Dr Ballal said.

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