Over 45000 private hospitals shut in Karnataka as doctors go on strike

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Amendments proposed to a new Bill to govern private medical institutions in Karnataka, including increased liability on doctors for medical negligence, resulted in a daylong strike by doctors at outdoor patient departments in private hospitals across the state on Friday.

Doctors of various private hospitals assembled at the Mysore Medical College Alumni Association Auditorium at J K Grounds in the city as a token protest against the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 tabled in the state Assembly in June.

Shyamala, a nurse at a private hospital in Shivajinagar, had brought her young daughter to Bowring Hospital as there are no paediatricians in the hospital she works at.

All the charges being taken in the private hospitals like electricity charges, water charges, nearly all charges paid is at commercial rates and not subsidized, unlike government hospitals.

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While blood banks - Manipal, MS Ramaiah, TTK - were open as a part of emergency services, they did not receive requisition for elective surgeries they said.

Over 50,000 doctors in Karnataka went on strike on Friday in regard with the new medical bill.

Dr.H.N. Ravindra added that if government sets up law, then doctors would end up in taking up risky cases as the bill proposes imprisoning doctors for up to three years and imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh.

Several patients who were unaware of the doctors' protest were seen returning back home from the private hospitals and clinics and it was a common sight at all the private medical establishments across Mysuru.