BENGALURU: The Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) on Friday informed the Karnataka High Court that it had issued a circular warning that medical practitioners who refuse treatment to non-Covid patients would be liable for penal action and that it would take action against such professionals.
Placing a copy of the circular, which said that action would be taken under Section 2.1 and 5.2 of the Code of Medical Ethics, 2002, before a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi, the KMC also said it has provided helpline numbers (9916302328/080-22200888) for patients to lodge complaints if care is denied.
The KMC’s submission came in response to a public interest litigation filed by Tumakuru-based advocate Ramesh L Naik, which drew the court’s attention to reports about medical practitioners and private hospitals denying treatment to non-Covid patients. The petitioner also pointed out that many hospitals/clinics have been closed to due the Covid-19 pandemic.
Referring to this, the KMC said it has directed medical practitioners registered not to close hospitals and clinics and to provide treatment to patients suffering from non-Covid-19 ailments, in keeping with professional ethics.
The State government has also placed before the court a copy of the order issued by the State Executive Committee constituted under the Disaster Management Act, directing private hospitals not to refuse treatment to non-Covid patients. The bench then disposed of the petition.