‘Bengaluru Chalo’ campaign by medical fraternity to oppose amendments to KPME Act

More than 15,000 doctors and healthcare professionals from all over Karnataka undertook ‘Bengaluru Chalo’ campaign on Friday (June 16) to protest the proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act, 2007. Dr. Rajshekhar Bellary, President, IMA, Karnataka Chapter; Dr. Nagendra Swamy, Coordinator, FHA-K; Dr. Mallesh, President, KPMEA; Dr. Madan Gaekwad, President, PHANA; Dr. Ajay Kumar, President, AHPI-K; Justice Santosh Hegde, Former Lokayukta, Karnataka; Dr. H.N. Ravindra, President Elect, IMA; Dr. R. Ravindra, Secretary, PHANA; Dr. C. Jayanna, Hon. President Elect, PHANA; Dr. Devi Shetty; Dr. Bharathi; Dr. Anupam; Dr. Yoganand Reddy; Dr. Venkatesh. K were present among the participants who marched from Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station (City Central Railway Station) to the Freedom Park on Seshadri Road.​​

BENGALURU: More than 15,000 doctors and healthcare professionals from all over Karnataka representing various organisations, private hospitals, diagnostics centres and clinical establishments, undertook a ‘Bengaluru Chalo’ campaign on Friday (June 16) to protest the proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act, 2007.

The protesters, under the banner of the Joint Action Committee – Karnataka, representing IMA, KPMEA, Private Hospitals & Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), Federation of Healthcare Associations - Karnataka (FHA-K) and Association of Healthcare Providers – India (AHPI), and 25 other organisations, took out a march from the SangolliRayanna Railway Station (City Central Railway Station) to the Freedom Park on Seshadri Road.

Slamming the amendment, Former Hon’ble Judge of the Supreme Court Of India, Former Solicitor General of India and Former Lokayukta for the State of Karnataka, Santosh Hegde, said “The Government has no rights to interfere in the affairs of Private Medical Establishments in the manner described in the amendment, it is completely irrational and also dismissive of the corruption and issues long prevailing in the Government Hospitals. When I was part of the Judiciary System in various capacities and roles, I have myself seen the pathetic state of affairs at Government Hospitals, the government must first look to address this. They cannot be discriminatory in this regard. Government Hospitals are themselves inefficient and corrupt, government cannot enforce an unlawful and flawed regulation. This amendment will not stand scrutiny in the court of law even for 5 minutes.”

Terming the amendments as draconian, Dr.Rajshekhar Bellary, President, IMA, Karnataka Chapter, said, “The amendments are not in sync with the prevailing standards or norms relating to healthcare globally. Also is completely deviant from the accepted recommendations of the Justice Sen Committee. Thisamendment pervading all private medical establishments is simply not acceptable and is absolutely regressive as it is flawed from the very roots” 

Dr. Madan Gaeykwad, President, PHANA, said that the government was indulging in vote-bank politics by proposing such amendments, “Where was the need for these amendments? Was there any public consultation? In real sense it does not do any good to the society and its people. Why do people choose to get treated at a private hospital over the govt. hospitals?These amendments are ad-hoc, discriminatory, and regressive. Instead of targeting the private sector in this undue manner, the government should take a holistic approach towards promoting, monitoring and regulating the healthcare sector by involving all the stakeholders concerned and by evolving sensible and reasonable regulation climate which will protect the noble interest of healthcare.”

Dr. Nagendra Swamy, Coordinator, FHA-K, termed the amendments as shocking. “It is appalling to see that the government is playing the role of a facilitator sans the involvement of the government hospitals. How can they keep the government hospitals out of the purview of these amendments? ” he wondered.

Dr. Ajay Kumar, President, AHPI-K, remarked, “The government cannot decide  on capping the pricing of medical services met by the Private Medical Establishments and vouch to penally punish Doctors if not met with clauses of the amendment, which does not have any rational basis at all. We cater to the healthcare needs of people in an organized manner with no compromise in quality. This amendment dismisses the very constitutional right of a profession in all capacities”

Dr.Mallesh, President, KPMEA, said that the government hospitals were in poor condition and services were below par and the government should focus on that issue. “The Government is not interested in developing their hospitals. Instead of meddling with the affairs of the private hospitals, the government should improve the quality of services in the Government hospitals.  Let us not forget in a country where majority of healthcare access happens through the private sector, we have played an extremely significant role in achieving the healthcare objectives of the country” he added.

Terming the amendments as draconian, Dr.Rajshekhar Bellary, President, IMA, Karnataka Chapter, said, “The amendments are not in sync with the prevailing standards or norms relating to healthcare globally. Also is completely deviant from the accepted recommendations of the Justice Sen Committee. Thisamendment pervading all private medical establishments is simply not acceptable and is absolutely regressive as it is flawed from the very roots” 

Dr. Madan Gaeykwad, President, PHANA, said that the government was indulging in vote-bank politics by proposing such amendments, “Where was the need for these amendments? Was there any public consultation? In real sense it does not do any good to the society and its people. Why do people choose to get treated at a private hospital over the govt. hospitals?These amendments are ad-hoc, discriminatory, and regressive. Instead of targeting the private sector in this undue manner, the government should take a holistic approach towards promoting, monitoring and regulating the healthcare sector by involving all the stakeholders concerned and by evolving sensible and reasonable regulation climate which will protect the noble interest of healthcare.”

Dr. Nagendra Swamy, Coordinator, FHA-K, termed the amendments as shocking. “It is appalling to see that the government is playing the role of a facilitator sans the involvement of the government hospitals. How can they keep the government hospitals out of the purview of these amendments? ” he wondered.

Dr. Ajay Kumar, President, AHPI-K, remarked, “The government cannot decide  on capping the pricing of medical services met by the Private Medical Establishments and vouch to penally punish Doctors if not met with clauses of the amendment, which does not have any rational basis at all. We cater to the healthcare needs of people in an organized manner with no compromise in quality. This amendment dismisses the very constitutional right of a profession in all capacities”

Dr.Mallesh,President, KPMEA, said that the government hospitals were in poor condition andservices were below par and the government should focus on that issue. “TheGovernment is not interested in developing their hospitals. Instead of meddlingwith the affairs of the private hospitals, the government should improve thequality of services in the Government hospitals.  Let us not forget in a country where majorityof healthcare access happens through the private sector, we have played anextremely significant role in achieving the healthcare objectives of thecountry” he added.

Theprotesters, who raised slogans against the government, threatened to intensifythe stir and stay functionally inactive if the government did not withdraw theamendments.


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