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Private doctors’ strike hits out-patient care in Karnataka

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Strike

Bengaluru, Nov 14: Out-patient services in private hospitals across Karnataka was affected on Monday as some 50,000 private doctors went on a strike to protest against an amendment bill intended to regulate their functioning. The strike will continue till their demands are met, said a senior Indian Medical Association (IMA) official.

“Out-patients were not seen or treated in private hospitals across the state today (Monday), as our members went on strike against the (amendment to the) Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act,” IMA’s state chapter Secretary B. Veeranna told IANS.

The private hospitals had very few doctors on duty to look after in-patients and for emergency services.

“We have decided to go on a relay hunger strike at Belagavi from Tuesday till the state government withdrew the stringent provisions in the amendment bill,” asserted Veeranna.

About 300 private doctors will be on 24-hour relay hunger strike in batches near the Souvrna Soudha in the state’s northern town till four provisions in the bill are withdrawn.

The private doctors are staging the hunger strike at Belagavi, about 500 km from the state capital Bengaluru, where the 10-day winter session of the state legislature began on Monday and the entire government machinery, including the cabinet, officials and lawmakers will stay put till November 24.

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.

The out-patient departments in private hospitals, which were shut on Monday across the state, will however resume services from Tuesday.

“Though Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held talks with us (five representatives of the IMA’s state chapter) and assured us of looking into our demands, we will not budge till ‘punitive’ provisions were withdrawn,” noted the Secretary.

The four main demands are inclusion of government doctors under the KPME Act, no grievances redressal committees, no penalty on erring doctors or their imprisonment for the death of any patient due to medical negligence and ceiling on cost of treatment only for the government health schemes under which eligible patients are treated in private hospitals or clinics.

“The government can fix the cost of treating patients under its health scheme in private hospitals but the same cost cannot be applied for treating private or other patients,” noted Veeranna.

According to IMA’s Karnataka Chapter President H.N. Ravindra, nearly 76 per cent of patients under the government health schemes are refereed to private hospitals or clinics, as state-run hospitals lack expertise and facilities to treat them for various diseases.

“The Chief Minister told us the amendment bill would be tabled in the assembly on Wednesday and discussed by the lawmakers along with the report of the joint select committee set up to study the provisions. We hope the government will meet our demands as even the opposition BJP and JD-S have supported us,” stated Veeranna.

About 20,000 private doctors, Ayush practitioners, nurses, paramedics and medical students from across the state participated in the sit-in demo near the secretariat.

“We also took a protest rally and staged a sit-in demo to draw the 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.

About 45,000 private hospitals, including 5,000 in Bengaluru, were also shut on November 3, as doctors went on a flash strike, demanding changes in the amendment bill.

IANS

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Sudden rains bring brief respite to Kolkata

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Kolkata, June 20: A sudden spell of afternoon rains brought relief in boiling Kolkata and parts of south Bengal region on Wednesday but the monsoon will only progress in the next two to three days, a Met official said here.

“This was a local thunderstorm resulting from the scorching heat and the moisture present, very similar to pre-monsoon rains. This has no relation with monsoon… We feel it is likely that monsoon progress will re-start after Friday,” said A.K. Sen, a scientist of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Kolkata.

He also said Wednesday’s rainfall occurred in isolated places of Kolkata, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas and also in Midnapore district.

“Overall prediction of monsoon looks promising as India will get almost 97 per cent rainfall and the eastern region may get 95 per cent in a four-month period of monsoon,” added Sen.

The temperature shot up to 40 degrees Celsius, inconveniencing those on the roads and even those who preferred to remain indoors due to the high humidity over the past few days. The heat wave has claimed at least four lives in the state.

The rain brought temporary relief and would also bring down the temperature gradually.

According to the Met department, the maximum recorded temperature has reached around 39.6 degrees Celsius which is almost 7 degrees above normal. The minimum temperature was around 29.6 degrees, 4 degrees above normal.

The relative humidity recorded in the last 24 hours was 64 per cent in the morning and 73 per cent on Tuesday evening, causing immense problems.

Heavy rains (7-11 cm) with lightning are likely at one or two places over Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Malda, North and South Dinajpur districts of Sub Himalayan West Bengal on Friday, the weatherman said.

IANS

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Police files FIR in Charbagh Hotel fire

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Charbagh Fire

Lucknow, June 20: An FIR has been filed against the owners and workers of SSJ International and Virat Hotels, in connection with the hotel fire accident in Lucknow’s busy Charbagh area, which killed six people.

Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged the case under Sections 285,337,338 and 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), ANI reported.

According to police, the investigation is underway.

More than 50 people were rescued from the hotel and injured admitted to the hospital.

“Four people have died and more than 50 people were rescued from the building. Cause of fire still to be ascertained,” Lucknow Inspector General (I.G.) of Police, S Pandey told media on Tuesday.

WeForNews 

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Food poisoning kills 4, at least 70 hospitalised in Maharashtra

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After the dinner, many people complained of stomach aches, suddenly started vomiting incessantly and were rushed to nearby private clinics and hospitals. (Representative Photo)

Raigad (Maharashtra), June 19: At least four people were killed due to suspected food-poisoning after a house-warming dinner here, news agency IANS quoted police official as saying on Tuesday.

The incident occurred at the new home of Subhash Mane, who had organised a vaastu-shanti pooja in Mahad village, followed by the celebratory dinner on Monday night, a Raigad Police spokesman said.

After the dinner, many people complained of stomach aches, suddenly started vomiting incessantly and were rushed to nearby private clinics and hospitals, the report said.

Mahad village in Khalapur is around 75 kms from Mumbai.

Of the 70 others still admitted to the hospital, the condition of at least five is described as critical, IANS quoted the spokesperson as saying.

Meanwhile, the  case has been registered as further investigations are underway.

IANS

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