BENGALURU/ KOLAR: Governor Vajubhai Vala gave his assent to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (Amendment) Bill 2017, paving the way for an enforceable patients rights charter. The Act will likely be enforced in February, Health Minister Ramesh Kumar told Express on Friday.
“All measures will be taken including calling of objections while framing the rules. The KPME Act will benefit the needy and is neither against private hospitals nor private medical practitioners,” Ramesh Kumar said.
After passing of the Bill in the winter session, on November 30, it was forwarded to the Governor for approval. On Thursday, Kumar got a call from the governor office for discussion in this regard. Kumar said he had a 40-minutes discussion with the governor and received his approval on Friday.
The Bill includes certain key pro-patients provisions but certain other provisions were watered down to pacify private hospital owners after large scale protests and OPD closures rocked the state in November. The Indian Medical Association organised large scale protests in opposition to price-capping, imprisonment and penalty clauses in the Bill. With hunger strikes and OPD closures, the Siddaramaiah government was arm-twisted into diluting the Bill rendering a largely toothless Act.