BANGALORE: Health Minister U T Khader on Tuesday said the government was unable to verify the veracity of the doctors’ resignations.
He said, “We have received two resignation letters from one doctor from Mangalore. Some others have given their resignation letters without proper signatures, which leads to the suspicion that they may have been forged. Also, I understand that these mass resignations are nothing more than the doctors positioning themselves as an association. I too have come through the ranks of student unions, and know this.”
He told reporters that department officials were verifying whether the resignations were submitted under coercion.
He said the department had accepted 10 of the 14 demands and was processing them. “The four demands do not come under the department’s purview. Hence, a meeting with the Chief Minister has been arranged on Wednesday,” he said.
T A Veerabhadraiah, president, Karnataka Government Medical Officers Association, told Express that though a meeting with the CM was scheduled for Tuesday, it was called off as he was busy.
Doctors Resume Work
With most doctors reporting for work on Tuesday, health services were almost normal in hospitals in the State. In Bangalore, Jayanagar General Hospital, K C General Hospital, K R Puram General Hospital and Gousia Hospital reported normal staff strength. Dr Vimala Patil, Medical Superintendent, K C General Hospital, said, “There were some problems on Monday when the doctors resigned. The situation improved on Tuesday with all the doctors on duty.”
Patients were relieved to see the doctors back at work in hospitals. Venkatesh, a Madivala resident, said, “On Monday, my daughter complained of pain while eating, but I could not take her to the hospital. I took her to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health Hospital on Tuesday but I wasn’t sure if doctors would be available. I am happy that she received treatment on time.”
However, there were some instances of patients waiting endlessly for doctors. At C V Raman Nagar General Hospital, the scene was normal barring in the dermatology department. “My skin has been peeling off since a week. I came to see the doctor at 10 am. I waited for two hours, but no doctor was available,” said Darshan, a resident of CV Raman Nagar.
Ramya, a 10-year-old from Koodaluru Grama in Ramanagar, who was suffering from high fever, died on Tuesday. Her parents blamed it on the non-availability of doctors at the primary health centre (PHC).
The parents said they took their daughter to the PHC at on Monday and the doctors administered drips, but her condition did not improve. Then they took her to the PHC on Tuesday, but there was no doctor. They finally took her to Solur Grama PHC and there were no doctor there too, said Ramaiah, the father who is a farmer.
However, T A Veerabhadraiah, president, Karnataka Government Medical Officers Association, defended the doctors and said, “The girl had been critical since a week and the parents consulted the doctor only on Monday. And on Tuesday, the parents were asked to go to the Taluk Hospital at Nelmangala, but they took their daughter to a temple instead.”
Assent for Docs’ Rural Service Soon
The bill, passed by the state legislature to ensure that doctors complete one year of service in rural areas compulsorily, is expected to get the Presidential assent within a month, Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil said. The bill will solve the problem of shortage of doctors in rural hospitals. The bill is now before the Union Law Ministry. He also said that a bill with amendments to Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act 2006 would be introduced in the winter session of the legislature. The government has written to the High Court Chief Justice to suggest the names of the judges to head the committees to fix the fee and regulate admissions, he added.