BENGALURU: Outpatient services at all private hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres and super specialty facilities will remain closed today. However, emergency services and trauma care centres will be functional as usual. Facilities of ambulances and labour rooms will also remain functional. All elective surgeries have been postponed by hospitals to a later date.
State Health Commissioner has cancelled the leave of all government doctors, medical and paramedical staff on Friday and asked everyone to report to work at the Primary Health Centres, taluk hospitals and district hospitals. This is in anticipation of increased patient load.
Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association in its emergency general meeting decided that all its 400 member hospitals will participate in the strike. There are around 45,000 medical establishments. Ambulances and in-patient services won’t be affected though.
Fortis Hospital said, “Fortis Hospitals Bangalore will join the state-wide protest called at the Emergency General Meeting by IMA and PHANA against the proposed Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act amendments. Consequently OPD services will remain closed from 8 am on 3rd November to 8 am on 4th November 17. Emergency services and labour rooms will remain functional.” Fortis has four hospitals in the city -- Bannerghatta Road, Cunningham Road, Nagarbhavi and Rajajinagar.
Dr Ajai Kumar, chairman, Healthcare Global, said, “We have not posted any elective surgeries for tomorrow. Emergent oncology procedures will be done at HCG though.”
Ambulance services will run as usual despite protests: Private hospitals
Outpatient services at all private hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres and super specialty facilities will remain closed today. Dr Nagendra Swamy, group medical director, Manipal, said, “Ambulances aren’t a part of OPD services so they will run as usual. OPDs won’t run from 8 am to 8pm which is usually their timings.”
Apollo, which has four hospitals in Karnataka, also won’t have its OPDs running. Narayana Health has even put up banners to this effect on its hospital premises. However, the question being asked by citizens is why government cannot invoke Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) when there are instances in the past where it has been invoked against private essential service providers.
Kolar district administration invoked ESMA against protesting private water tankers in August. The Kerala High Court in July banned indefinite strike by nurses of private hospitals under ESMA.
Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali condemning the strike said in a statement, “Private hospitals have continued with their misinformation campaign deliberately twisting and misrepresenting various provisions in the amendments to suit their profiteering interests. KPME contains several citizen-centric provisions while also ensuring adequate space for private hospitals to have their say.”