Diluted version of KPME Bill tabled in Assembly

Jail clause dropped, redressal panels to be headed by DCs

A diluted version of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with imprisonment clauses against doctors being dropped, was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

The statement of objects and reasons listed in the revised bill states that a few changes have been made after considering the recommendation of a Joint Select Committee of the legislature and delegation of doctors associations.

Last week, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held talks with private medical doctors who agreed to call off their five-day-old strike after the state government agreed to include most of their demands.

Accordingly, all clinical complaints have been brought out of the purview of the redressal committee in the revised bill. The jurisdictional deputy commissioner will now head the redressal committee.

Doctors have been allowed to be represented by their lawyers in the grievance redressal committee, which will handle only non-clinical complaints.

Health and Family Welfare Minister K R Ramesh Kumar tabled the bill in the Assembly. Discussion on the revised bill will be taken up on Wednesday.

Another major change in the revised bill is that the expert committee will fix cost for only those procedures covered under government-funded insurance schemes.

Some of the clauses that have been retained include making it mandatory for private hospitals to provide emergency treatment as per need without insisting on payment of advance from patient and handing over of body of deceased patient to his/her representative without insisting on prior payment of dues.

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