NMC Bill: IMA protest receives mixed response in Karnataka

The protest is against the National Medical Commission Bill that will be tabled in the Parliament on Saturday.

Published: 28th July 2018 01:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2018 07:23 PM   |  A+A-

Axon Speciality Hospital in Bengaluru saw less turn out due to the protest against the introduction of the National Medical Council Bill. ( Photo | Pushkar V/ EPS)

By Express News Service

 BENGALURU: The 12-hour OPD closure called for by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) from 6 am to 6 pm nationwide received mixed response in Karnataka.

Lesser known small hospitals and nursing homes kept their out patient departments (OPDs) open while a few bigger hospitals closed their OPDs with doctors staffing their emergency departments.

The protest is against the National Medical Commission Bill that will be tabled in the Parliament on Monday. IMA members took out a procession from IMA house in Chamarajapet to Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner's Office to submit a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister.

After television reports emerged of a one-day-old baby girl dying after she was allegedly turned away at a private hospital in Gokak and had to be brought to Belagavi, IMA Karnataka President Dr HN Ravindra said, "We do not know the facts of the case. I will enquire into the matter. If our strike is found to be the reason we will apologise. But we have asked all emergency services to function as usual.

"Apollo Hospital at Sheshadripuram was open but the doctors of the OPD are on strike. But the patients were being catered to at the emergency ward with one doctor and two nurses. The appointments that were taken in advance were cancelled in advance and a message was sent to the patients. For cases of emergency, special arrangements were made.

Apollo Hospital in Bannerghatta Road was functioning though OPD doctors were on strike. For outstation patients, a doctor in the emergency ward was made available with nurses.

A staffer said, "The doctors of OPD are on strike. For the patients in emergency, a doctor is made available, otherwise they are requested either to come after 6 pm or Monday, as per convenience."

SK Subramanya, 73, a patient said, "I didn't know that the doctors were on leave. When I approached the OPD section they directed me to the emergency ward, where I was checked and was advised to come and meet the doctors at the OPD on Monday."

Dr Rashmi Sanjay, Senior Manager, Operations, Manipal Hospital, said," At least 10 per cent of our 1,200 OPD appointments had to be rescheduled. For those who have come from outside Bangalore, other consultants were roped in.

At least one representative from each of the 60 specialties and sub-specialty OPDs are participating in the strike. For example, in the Medical OPD if there are five doctors, now there are three.

"Elsewhere in the state the effect of the strike was mixed as well. While hospitals functioned normally in Davangere, most private hospitals in Udupi closed their OPDs asking the patients to come back on Monday.

However, the Kasturba hospital in Manipal was not closed as there were many patients over the weekend. 


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