The private hospitals went on a one day strike protesting against the proposed State Government rules curtailing its freedom, resulting in the death of 2 patients for lack of medical care, reported Kannada Prabha.

A lawyer who had suffered a heart attack died at Bellary and a young woman died due to snake bite at Bidar.  Throughout the State patients suffered and there was an increase of 20 to 25 percent at government hospitals outpatients department. However, the private hospitals did not stop emergency services, surgeries, ambulance and blood banks etc. The dates of surgeries of in patients who were to undergo surgery on Friday were rescheduled for future dates. Hence major medical emergencies were averted.

Differently abled, pregnant women, senior citizens and follow up patients after surgeries who had arrived at hospitals unaware of the strike were put to great inconveniences.  They were seen fighting and cursing at the hospitals. In The City all the private hospitals had closed down the Out patients department. At Baptists Hospital the out Patients ward gate was closed and doctors protested outside. At Martha’s and KIMS also the situation was the same. The K C General Hospital, Bowring Hospital and Victoria Hospitals had an increase in the number of outpatients. Speaking to Kannada Prabha, a senior doctor said, usually on Fridays we have large crowd and today it was more by 20 percent than the usual. However, we were prepared for it and hence there was no problem.

The District medical officer had circulated a notice to all government doctors and staff of government hospitals to be present to work compulsorily. At Chikkaballapur, 136 private hospitals were shut down and the crowd was diverted to government hospitals. It was the same in Shivamogga hospitals too. Notice displayed in front of the private hospitals greeted patients.

However, the government hospitals rose to the occasion and worked to their full capacity. Health Departments, District health, family welfare officers and district surgeons along with government health institutes rendered quality service. Leaves to all staff were cancelled. A statement issued by the Health Department stated that the government hospitals were successful in providing good medical service to public. Care was taken to avoid any inconveniences to patients despite getting 25 per cent more attendance.

Interestingly the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the private medical institutions amendment bill is not yet approved. A long debate will take place at the cabinet before it can be approved. It is not right on the part of the private doctors to strike, he said.

Health Minister Ramesh Kumar also expressed the same view. “The bill was submitted after discussions with private hospitals and doctors. I don’t know why the doctors went on a strike. What was the reason for their strike? Don’t know what their intention was. Anyway government hospitals have all hi-tech facilities, patients can go to government hospitals for treatment, he said.