Mysuru/ Belagavi: The face-off between the government and private hospitals over the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill that proposes to regulate doctors continued to cripple healthcare services in city today. Outpatient, emergency, diagnostics and casualty services continued to be hit with government hospitals taking the entire load as patients scouted for medical services from one government hospital to another.
However, positive signals are emerging from Belagavi at the ongoing Winter Session of the Assembly and the epicentre of doctor’s protest. Chief Minister Siddharamaiah has conveyed a message to the striking doctors late last night that the government was open to modifying certain clauses in the KPME draft Bill.
Pushed to relent after more than 35 deaths across Karnataka due to non-availability of healthcare services, Siddharamaiah said he will relook into the Bill. Government sources told Star of Mysore that office-bearers of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Karnataka Chapter will meet the CM at 2.30 pm today to discuss a solution for this standoff. “We will try to find a solution, we are open for discussions,” the CM told the agitating medical fraternity.
The IMA, on its part, has decided to wait for the outcome of the meeting with the CM and a decision will be taken after the 2.30 pm meeting. Private hospitals in Mysuru too are waiting for the final decision that will be taken by the IMA.
Even the Karnataka High Court, which heard a set of Public Interest Litigations (about severe hardship caused to public at large due to the “inhuman” decision of medical practitioners to go on strike) that were filed against the doctor’s strike yesterday, adjourned the hearing to post-lunch today as the advocates representing the IMA informed the Court about the CM’s meeting.
The Court had said yesterday that it can pass appropriate orders to deal with the issue but is in favour of doctors themselves withdrawing the strike and had adjourned the hearing to 10.30 am today. It will now hear the PIL after lunch.
Govt. hospitals take load: The State-run Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences in city has reported a steady increase in the number of patients since yesterday. Dr. Sadananda, head of the Mysuru unit told this newspaper that the number of patients has increased from yesterday evening. “We have kept the outpatient department for 24 hours to cater to the growing number of patients,” he said.
At the K.R. Hospital, the authorities were forced to temporarily set up an additional outpatient department. A team of five doctors was deployed at the OPD in addition to the regular team of doctors and nurses to attend to the patients.
At least 1,687 people were treated as outpatients at the hospital from 9 am to 5 pm yesterday, while 124 patients were admitted. Doctors had to work beyond their routine work hours, with most of the departments, which normally close by 4 pm, operating well past 5.30 pm. Even the diagnostic units for ultrasound, CT scanning and MRI scanning were flooded with patients and functioned overtime.