Will resign if medical bill is not passed, says Karnataka health minister

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The strike will continue till their demands are met, said a senior Indian Medical Association (IMA) official.

Bengaluru/Belagavi: The ongoing protest by doctors and private hospitals against the provision of the proposed Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) bill, threatens to severely disrupt health services across the state with long queues of patients visible at several government hospitals and deaths reported from some districts due to the non-availability of private medical services. Dr Ajai Kumar, the president of AHPI, said junior doctors would be available in hospitals for emergency services.

Meanwhile, the doctors are still adamant about their demand and have continued their strike leaving hundreds of patients at their risk.

At Belagavi, over 10,000 private practice doctors assembled near Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, housing both Houses of legislature, and staged a protest against the proposed 'Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Bill, ' which they said contained "harsh" provisions.

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The 10-day session of the Assembly and Council is held in winter every year to address the issues of people living in the state's northern region.

As the controversial bill to regulate private hospitals is set for a debate and voting in the assembly after it was tabled on Tuesday, the ruling Congress seems to be in a Catch-22 situation.

The doctors are opposing the proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act, 2007, to make private hospitals and nursing homes accountable, stating that they are detrimental to the medical profession. The hospitals have to follow the price chart provided by the state government and can not overcharge it. "We hope the government will meet our demands as even the opposition BJP and JD-S have supported us", stated Veeranna.

About 45,000 private hospitals, including 5,000 in Bengaluru, were also shut on November 3, as doctors went on a flash strike, demanding changes in the amendment bill.

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