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Karnataka: Private doctors’ strike hits out-patient care

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Bengaluru, Nov 13: Out-patient service in private hospitals and clinics across Karnataka were affected on Monday as around 50,000 private doctors went on strike in protest against an amendment bill that is intended to regulate their functioning.

“Out-patients will not be seen or treated in private hospitals or clinics across the state as our members are on strike against the (amendment to the) Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act,” Indian Medical Association (IMA) state Secretary B. Veeranna told IANS.

The private hospitals, however, will have minimum doctors on duty to admit or look after in-patients and provide emergency services.

Around 25,000 private doctors from across the state are also staging a day-long demonstration at Belagavi, about 500 km from here, where the winter session of the Karnataka legislature began on Monday.

“We are staging the demo to draw attention of the government and the MLAs against the amendment bill which has anti-doctor and anti-patient provisions that will endanger private healthcare,” Veeranna said.

The 10-day session of the Assembly and Council is held in winter every year to address the issues of people living in the state’s northern region.

“We will resort to relay hunger strike from Tuesday at Belagavi if the government does not respond to our demand to drop the draconian provisions in the amendment bill. We will not treat out-patients,” Veeranna said.

About 45,000 private hospitals, including 5,000 in Bengaluru, were shut on November 3 as doctors went on flash strike, demanding changes in the bill with penal provisions, including imprisonment, hefty fines and regulating costs for various treatments or surgeries in private hospitals and clinics.

“Though we conveyed our objections to the bill to the Health Minister (Ramesh Kumar) and sought the Chief Minister’s (Siddaramaiah) intervention, no response came from them.

“Even the Select Committee of the state legislature, set up to review the drastic provisions in the bill, has not called us for discussion,” IMA state President H.N. Ravindra said.

Karnataka Health Secretary Ajay Seth has directed all government hospitals to depute more doctors in the out-patient department to cope with the rush from private hospitals or clinics.

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Himachal Rains: Traffic to Manali restored partially

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Shimla, Sep 25: Traffic to picturesque Himachal tourist resort Manali was restored partially on Tuesday, a day after all major road links snapped due to landslides triggered by heavy rains, officials said.

However, the administration has advised the motorists to travel towards Manali only in case of emergency.

“The traffic was partially restored through a narrow link road. Only small vehicles have been allowed.

“Chances of more landslides are high. The national highway between Kullu and Manali is still blocked at various places,” Subdivisional Magistrate Raman Gharsanghi told IANS over phone.

He said telecommunication services have been severely affected by the heavy rainfall and landslides in the past three days.

Gharsanghi said major landslides have occurred in Vashisht and Rangri, both located in Manali town. However, there was no loss of life.

Two people were killed in Pangi village in Kinnaur district late on Monday when their vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge.

IANS

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Bengal school violence orchestrated by outsiders: Minister

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West Bengal School Violence

Kolkata, Sep 25 (IANS) West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday claimed the violence that took place in a North Dinajpur district school over the recruitment of new teachers last week was not orchestrated by students, but by outsiders.

The Minister, who had previously blamed the BJP and RSS for the unrest in which two youths were allegedly killed, however, refused to pinpoint any one as guilty, stating probe was on.

“I think the students did not create the ruckus in the school. It must be the work of the outsiders. If the students were agitating on the demand for new teachers in school why would they cause such damage to the school’s property?” Chatterjee said after a meeting here with the District Inspectors (DI) of schools.

“Some people carrying a certain flag orchestrated the violence from behind keeping the students in front. Since the investigation is on, we will not accuse anyone. Be it the headmaster or the managing committee of the school, no one is above scrutiny. Not even the police,” he said.

A massive clash broke out between a mob and police outside Darivit High School in North Dinajpur district’s Islampur area last week over the recruitment of two new teachers of Urdu and Sanskrit languages in the school while the students had been demanding teachers in literature and science subjects.

The new teachers were stopped from entering the school on Thursday afternoon by the agitating students, who later blocked the road and clashed with police when they arrived on the spot.

Villagers claimed the youths, both former students of the school, were killed in police firing, whereas the police maintained no bullets were fired by them and claimed that miscreants armed with guns, bombs and sticks attacked them outside the school.

Referring to the meeting with the DIs, Chatterjee said they have been instructed to submit detailed report regarding the infrastructure of the schools under their purview along with the number of male and female students, teachers as well as the requirement for additional teachers in those schools.

He said all 22 sanctioned posts for teachers including five para-teachers in that school were filled up as per the district education department report.

“I have seen in the preliminary investigation that all the sanctioned posts for teachers in that school were filled. So either there is an error in the report or the students were demanding additional teachers, which is within their rights,” he said.

Terming the incident of violence as barbaric and pathetic, Chatterjee reiterated that no one will be spared if found guilty.

“The Chief Minister has asked me to strongly handle the situation and take strict action against those found guilty. No one will be spared. We have asked the DIs to do their job with courage,” he added.

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SpiceJet to start Shirdi-Delhi flight from October

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Spicejet

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) Budget carrier SpiceJet will commence flight service on the Shirdi-Delhi-Shirdi sector from October 1, said the airline on Monday.

“Our new flight will offer an immediate boost to religious tourism that the city is best known for,” Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet, was quoted in a statement.

Besides, it will also launch a new daily direct flight on the Mumbai-Kanpur route from October 8.

The airline will also operate first direct flight on the Mumbai-Jaisalmer route starting October 29 and a third direct flight on Mumbai-Kolkata sector from November 1.

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