The Private Hospitals’ and Nursing Homes’ Association, or Phana, and the Indian Medical Association on Thursday said hospitals on strike will reopen their outpatient departments on Friday morning. They made the announcement soon after the Karnataka High Court urged the protesting doctors to call off their agitation and meet the government for talks, The Times of India reported.

Doctors have been protesting since early November against the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017. It proposes to regulate the cost of medical procedures, introduce prison terms for doctors convicted in cases, higher penalties and more grievance cells, among other things.

At least seven patients died because they did not receive treatment as a result of the strike.

Phana President Dr Madan S Gaekwad said representative doctors will meet government officials in Belagavi. To discuss the bill, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah invited private medical facilities, the Indian Medical Association and other stakeholders for a meeting at 2 pm on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, around 22,000 doctors of private medical establishments in Bengaluru joined the indefinite strike, demanding that at least four of the 14 proposals in the amendment bill be dropped.