BENGALURU: OUTPATIENT departments of private hospitals and nursing homes, and clinics were closed or managed by skeletal staff across the state as 20,000 doctors participated in the ‘Belagavi Chalo’ protest organised by the Indian Medical Association. IMA Secretary Dr Veeranna B, said, “We met the CM and he said that our demands will be discussed in the House and hence we should wait till then. But, we will maintain the status quo. Tuesday onwards doctors in batches of 300 will sit on a hunger strike till our demands are met.” From Bengaluru, around 1,500 to 2,000 doctors protested, said Veeranna.
Healthcare Global Chairman Dr B S Ajaikumar, who participated in the protest said, “Around 100 doctors from seven of our branches in Mysuru, Hubbali, Shivamogga Bengaluru and Kalaburagi participated. Our OPDs were closed everywhere.” Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences that sees 750-800 outpatients everyday had its OPD closed. “Patients had come in the morning but the management decided to shut the OPD,” said a doctor requesting anonymity. Chief of medical services of Manipal hospital Dr Murali Krishna also said that the OPD wasn’t disrupted in his hospital. Fortis Hospital Cardiologist Dr Vivek Jawali informed that their OPDs were functioning albeit with skeletal staff. “We didn’t have enough time to participate. Half of our staff is present in our OPDs,” he said. Apollo hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Govindaiah Yatheesh said, “150 doctors from all our branches participated in the protest.
There was lean staff in the OPDs.” Joseph Prasangha, COO, Narayana Health, said, “Around 30 doctors from our headquarters participated. We had the head of all departments or their representatives participate. We had at least 50 doctors from five hospitals across the state.” Vasavi Hospital in Kumaraswamy Layout also closed its outpatient services. Mallya hospital ran with skeletal staff in its OPD. Government hospitals in Hassan were flooded with patients. The situation was similar in Chitradurga too. Majority of hospitals were also found to be closed in Kolar and Chikkaballapur. In Mysuru, government hospitals had considerable increase in patients. Around 3,000 patients came to KIMS Hospital OPD in Hubbali.