The state government on Wednesday passed a watered-down Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendments) Bill in the legislative Assembly, ANI reported.
The bill does not include the clause that said doctors will be jailed for negligence, harassing patients and for handing out inflated bills. The Karnataka government was forced to remove the clause after doctors protested against the bill statewide.
Last week, 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 bill be dropped. At least seven patients died while the doctors were on strike.
The bill that was passed, however, said doctors will be fined and their licences will be cancelled if they do not comply with the Patients’ Charter and Private Medical Establishment’s Charter. The patients’ charter talks about the right of a patient to receive care irrespective of caste, social status and gender.
The legislation also proposes to regulate the cost of medical procedures under its health insurance schemes. Hospitals must hand over bodies of the dead to the next of kin without insisting on payment of dues. It also proposes setting up a Registration and Grievance Redressal Authority in every district to look into complaints of violations of patients’ rights.