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IMA - Karnataka Agitation

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Dr K K Aggarwal    17 November 2017

Dear Colleague Doctors in Karnataka are on war path. IMA State President Dr Ravindran and 5 other doctors are on fast unto death at Belgaum. All the IMA branches in Karnataka are on relay fasting. Out patient departments in all the hospitals as well as clinics have been shutdown. Just now we have also received information that the agitation has been deferred on the intervention of High court of Karnataka and Dr Ravindra is continuing his fast unto death. The root of such anger is the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Amendments Bill 2017. While exempting the Government hospitals the bill provides for criminal prosecution and compensatory mechanisms against private doctors and private hospitals. In grave injustice the Government has also attempted fixing charges of consultation and procedures in private hospitals and clinics. Earlier in a similar legislation the Government of West Bengal introduced an oppressive Clinical Establishment Act on the doctors and hospitals of West Bengal. The redressal and amendments promised by the Chief Minister have not fructified either. These legislations are emboldening other states to bring in such oppressive bills aswell. IMA declares that Governments have no Locus standi in fixing charges for consultation and procedures in private hospitals and clinics. There are no parameters to measure the skill and expertise of the doctors. Criminal proceedings against doctors and hospitals on medical negligence cannot be initiated arbitrarily under the Clinical Establishment Act. In the absence of appropriate compensatory mechanism the Governments cannot pass on the responsibility of emergency patients and the patients who die to private hospitals. Any law regarding hospitals and clinics should apply equally to Government hospitals and private hospitals. Compensation provisions in case of medical negligence should be under one legislation. The advent of Grievance redressal forum as an additional quasi judiciary mechanism is unconstitutional. It is seen that the state is passing on its duty to provide healthcare to the private sector by default. A general trend of closure of small and medium private hospitals is already emerging in the country. Such unbearable legislations may push them to extinction resulting in overall rise in healthcare cost. Catastrophic health care costs are the single largest reason for pushing people below poverty line. Under the above circumstances we call for solidarity of the fraternity and the hospitals across the country. IMA hereby calls for a nationwide protest day with black badges on Saturday 18 11 2017. It is also informed that if an exigency arises all the state branches and local branches will be called to execute a nationwide closure on a short notice. Be prepared. Thanking you Yours sincerely Dr K K Aggarwal National President IMA Dr R N Tandon Hony Secretary General IMA Dr Raviwankhedkar National President Elect IMA Dr R V Asokan Chairman Action Committee

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