Over 20 deaths and counting, patients suffering, court's order to resume work immediately... no all this will not move the private doctors who are on a protest demanding the withdrawal of the KPME Bill, which will curb the free flow of money.
Here are eight important points mentioned in the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Bill (KPME Bill) drafted by the Karnataka government.
1) Rate card in the reception
The Bill specifies that the private hospitals must put up the rate card of the various services including operations in the reception hall and cannot charge more than what has been published. This check will ensure that the private hospitals do not charge anything extra after the patient has been admitted. It will also help bring transparency. Moreover, the rates will be fixed by the government (according to the private standards?)
2) Uniform rate card
All private hospitals should fix the same rate for their services including surgeries and other medical services. The uniform rate card will check hospitals from charging exorbitantly on their whims and fancies.
3) Estimation copy
The hospital should give the estimation copy of the bed charge, treatment expenses and expenses of medicines even before the treatment begins.
4) Rules during emergency
The hospitals cannot force or demand money from patients in the emergency cases. Of course, the money has to be paid, but in emergency cases, the patient should be treated first.
5) Neat medical prescription
The doctors should explain the condition to the patient, in the manner he or she understands it. Even the medical prescription should be readable, and the patients should understand what medicine has been prescribed for them.
6) Rules when the patient is declared dead
When the patient has been declared dead, the hospital cannot force or pressurise the family to clear the bill. They cannot say that the body will not be given until the fee has been paid.
7) On patient's approval
Before taking any decision (on treatment including operation), the doctors have to get the approval from the patient or his/her family members. Doctors cannot take any decision on their own.
8) Private labs at a distance
There should not be any private labs in the 200 metres parameters of the government hospital. This rule is applicable only to the labs to be opened henceforth.