The new KPMEA is an act which is likely to be passed in the Assembly Session and IMA Belagavi chapter has shared its view which are the common view of IMA Karnataka.
What are the Objectives of the Original KPME Act
• To establish digital registry of Private Medical Establishments in the state of Karnataka.
• To prevent quackery by unqualified practitioners by introducing registration system,
• To prescribe minimum standards of facilities and services for all categories of health care establishments
All these rules and regulations under the KPME ACT are strictly followed by all the private medical establishments. Our patients are witness to it.
Lately the Government has made changes to this Act and has brought in certain clauses namely
1. Grievance and ReDressal Cell run by the Government
Anybody can complain about any doctor to this cell. The authorities in this cell can sentence any doctor to imprisonment of upto 5 years and/or a fine of upto 5 lakhs. The doctors do not have the right to even appoint a lawyer to defend themselves in the court of law, which is a right of any human being.
2. Fixing the rates for all procedures, including consultation charges.
All private hospitals in Karnataka will have to follow the rates fixed by the Government. If not a penalty of upto 5 lakhs will be imposed.
Why doctors are protesting against the KPME Act?
• Firstly, it violates the fundamental rights of private doctors.
• Government hospitals are not covered under the Act and only the doctors working in private sector are being targeted.
• There are already SEVEN Grievance Redressal Agencies which patients can approach to get justice against doctors. This Act will force doctors to be tried in kangaroo courts without having the power to represent themselves, which is unfair.
• In a country where even terrorists are provided with lawyers, depriving the same fundamental right to doctors is illogical.
• It will become impossible to practice medicine safely and honourably.
Is this justified?
What will happen if the Act comes into force?
Good honest doctors may be imprisoned for no proper reason.
• Karnataka will lose experienced medical professionals just like West Bengal has in the last one year.
• Many speciality clinics will also be forced to shut down.
• Corporate hospitals will be forced to shut down due to financial inviability, thereby making advanced medical treatment unavailable in Karnataka.
• Many nurses, technicians, paramedical and administrative staff will lose their jobs.
• People will be forced to rely on government hospitals for treatment.
• Patients who may not be comfortable with government hospitals and can afford quality care will be forced to go to neighbouring states.
• Fear of criminal action and litigation will deter doctors from treating critical cases, inevitably resulting in loss of life.
• Awareness and detection camps conducted by private hospitals at concessional rates may be discontinued.
• Medicine will no longer be a sought after profession for bright students in Karnataka.
• Loss of the existing good doctor patient relationship.
Once introduced ,this Act has the potential to create irreparable damage to the Karnataka healthcare landscape. The common man will have to bear the ultimate brunt of the ill-conceived policy and hence will never support it.
Any Government has all the means to provide
a. The best infrastructure facility for a hospital
b. The Latest Equipment for the best Diagnostic and Treatment facilities.
c. The ability to employ the best Doctors with the best of skills.
Instead of trying to curb Private set ups let the Government provide such state of the art facilities that all the doctors from the private setups would want to work in such places.
I am sure all of you agree that when we are sick we go to a doctor whom we trust. We go to a certain hospital for the doctor who is treating us.
This is an appeal to all our patients and the public at large that we as doctors are protesting to have a better tomorrow so that we treat our patients well to the best of our ability and not allow personal vendettas of certain people affect our patients and our lives.
FROM IMA BELGAUM