Stall bill capping treatment cost, IMA to Karnataka CM

Indian Medical Association has shot a letter to Karnataka CM Siddaramaia, strongly opposing the government’s move to regulate doctors. IMA alleges that government is not doing enough to improve the healthcare and putting the blame squarely on the private doctors. If the bill is passed, doctors will hesitate to touch the patient in emergency, and ultimately the patient would suffer

Stall bill capping treatment cost, IMA to Karnataka CM

As the Siddaramaia government in Karnataka is planning to put a cap on medical professionals and doctors, the government’s decision has created a flutter amongst the fraternity.

Shocked by the government’s proposal, the Indian Medical Asossication (IMA) has written a letter to Karnataka CM Siddaramaia strongly opposing the government’s move to regulate doctors.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Shivkumar Utture, member of the central working committee of IMA said, “Health is primarily the state’s subject, but ironically, government is not taking enough efforts to improve the healthcare facilities. Rather they are putting the blame on the shoulders of the private professionals. Doctors are not criminals; they serve the patient and save lives.”

Dr Utture further added, “With this bill in place, no medical professional or doctor will touch the patient in case of an emergency. If the patient dies, you will arrest the doctor and put him in jail. How will anyone attend the patient? And ultimately poor patients are the one who will suffer.”

Dr KK Aggarwal, the national president of IMA said, “The government can not decide treatment charges in private sector. If they want to do, they should provide healthcare infrastructure, machines in subsidised rate. Also linking medical profession to imprisonment is a bad trend that will affect healthcare in India in a long run.”

In a step to make healthcare affordable, the Karnataka government has decided to fix the rates for different types of treatments and bed charges in private hospitals and nursing homes.

The bill, Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2017, which has been placed on the floor in the house, empowers the state government to fix rates, and also talks about imprisonment or penalty in case of violation of the rule.

Meanwhile, doctor associations in Karnataka have started protesting against the government proposed bill to regulate the caregivers. Doctors associated with Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Bangalore, have organised a protest march against the government.

Stall bill capping treatment cost, IMA to Karnataka CM

In a strongly worded letter to CM Siddaramaia, IMA states, Doctors are not criminals and no criminal prosecution clause should be made applicable to medical practice, and the KPME (amendment) bill 2017 should be stalled to save the patient-doctor relationship.

Highlights of the IMA’s letter to Karnataka CM Siddaramaia

There is no law in the world that allows anyone to complain and punish a doctor for merely asking questions to the patient

The professional conduct of the medical professionals are governed by the medical councils and no other authority can adjudicate on these matters
The attempt to regulate charges of medical professionals is unconstitutional

Government has failed to improve its own hospital and the private healthcare establishment has shouldered the responsibility with its own investments and expenses. It is unfortunate that the government, instead of providing a favorable and secure environment for the doctors, is trying to create severe hurdles even for our day to day works

Creating new regulatory authorities under the alibi that the medical councils, consumer forum, civil and criminal courts are ineffective is not only an affront to these institutions, but also a dangerous phenomenon.