Bengaluru: Less than two weeks after the State Legislature adopted the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, the State unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is now planning to move the High Court of Karnataka to bring Government hospitals also within the purview of the Bill.
The Bill is currently awaiting Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala’s assent.
“The members, including those from Speciality Doctors’ Associations, are of the opinion that whatever checks and balances have been applied to private doctors in the recent Bill should be applicable to Government doctors too,” said H.N. Ravindra, President of the State unit of IMA.
The Justice Vikramjith Sen Committee, which was set up to recommend and draft amendments to the KPME Act, 2007, had suggested that Government hospitals be brought within the ambit of the Act in order to make them accountable.
However, the Committee’s report was set aside and the Health Department drafted fresh amendments.
“We have been demanding that the Vikramjith Sen Committee (recommendations) be implemented. Now, we will appeal to the Governor to defer the Bill and then approach the High Court. A unanimous decision to this effect was taken at the IMA meeting held in Bengaluru,” said Ravindra.
Although the IMA did not raise the issue of inclusion of Government hospitals during its negotiations with the Chief Minister, Health Minister and others before the Bill was tabled, “the members have now realised this is a crucial aspect and we need to seek legal recourse,” said Dr. Ravindra.
When it was pointed out that Health Minister K.R. Ramesh Kumar had assured the doctors that another law would be introduced for Government doctors and hospitals, he said: “We do not know whether that will happen. But do we need another law for Government doctors? Why can’t they be included in this Bill itself?”