BENGALURU: Cost regulation, charter of patient rights and private medical establishments’ responsibilities, grievance redressal committees with powers of a civil court are some of the key provisions of the proposed KPME Amendments Bill 2017. It also contains provisions against insisting on advance payment as a precondition to providing care in emergencies and making settling dues as a pre-condition to handing over a dead body.
“These elements reflect basic humanitarian values while also upholding principles of medical ethics. The amendments will bring some semblance of protection, particularly for the poor and middle class citizens of the state,” said a group of 15 NGOs at a press conference on Friday to condemn the strike by private hospitals.
Representatives of Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali, Alternative Law Forum, Slum Janaandolana Karnataka, Karnataka Janashakti, Swaraj Abhiyan, Samaana Shikshanakkagi Janandolana, Mahila Munnade, Safai Karmachari Kaavalu Samiti, Karnataka Sex Workers’ Union, Swaraj Sanghatane, Sangama, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Lancha Mukta Karnataka, Janandolanagala Maha Maitri, and Jana Sangram Parishad said that in a vitiated environment where exploitation, profiteering, conducting unnecessary diagnostics and treatment, writing irrational harmful prescriptions for cuts and commissions have become the norm rather than an exception, the KPME Amendment Bill has become inevitable.
“The private medical establishments lobby have challenged the authority of the government to regulate costs. It is important to note that Section (ii) of the central Clinical establishments Act, 2010 explicitly provides for cost regulation. The central government has recently capped prices of cardiac stents. Such authority of the government has also been upheld by several Supreme Court judgments,” said Akhila Vasan, convener, Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali.