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Private doctors’ strike hits out-patient care in Karnataka

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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hunger strike in batches near the Souvrna Soudha in the state’s northern town till four provisions in the bill are withdrawn.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the IMA’s state chapter) and assured us of looking into our demands, we will not budge till ‘punitive’ provisions were withdrawn,” noted the Secretary.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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Cold tightens grip in Himachal after more snow

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Jammu and Kashmir

Shimla, Feb 25: The continuing cold tightened its grip over Himachal Pradesh on Sunday as the higher reaches of the state received a fresh spell of snow. However, there was widespread rainfall in the low and mid hills, the weather office said.

The weather office here has forecast more snow and rain in the state till Monday.

Shimla, which was received 15.8 mm rain, recorded a minimum temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius, a fall by four degrees Celsius from Saturday.

“High hills in Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur, Mandi and Chamba districts have been experiencing light to moderate snowfall since Friday,” a weather department official told IANS.

Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest in the state where the mercury plummeted to three degrees Celsius below the freezing point.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district, which recorded 19 cm of snow, saw a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, while it was 1 degree Celsius in Manali, 2.2 degrees in Kufri, 4.3 degrees in Dalhousie and 8.6 degrees Celsius in Dharamsala.

Manali received 49.6 mm rain, while Salooni in Chamba district recorded 54 mm rain, the highest in the state.

However, hills overlooking Manali experienced moderate snowfall.

IANS

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After ‘Bhagwad Gita’, Haryana school kids to recite ‘Gayatri Mantra’

Opposition parties in Haryana have accused the BJP government of “saffronising the education system”.

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Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar

Chandigarh, Feb 24 : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana is all set to make students in government schools of Haryana recite the “Gayatri Mantra” during morning prayers.

Haryana’s Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said on Saturday that the state government is going to make recitation of Gayatri Mantra mandatory in morning prayers in schools.

“Haryana is the land of ‘Bhagwad Gita’ and the cow. Reciting the Gayatri Mantra will inculcate values among students,” Sharma told the media here.

The BJP government in Haryana led by former RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) ideologue, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, had in 2015 announced that lessons from Hindu holy book Bhagwad Gita would be part of the school curriculum. This was introduced in 2016.

Opposition parties in Haryana have accused the BJP government of “saffronising the education system”.

The state has a BJP government since October 2014.

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Bihar: 9 killed, several others injures as a bolero van runs over School children in Muzaffarpur

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Muzaffarpur Accident (Photo-ANI)

Nine school students died in a road accident in Muzzafarpur of Bihar after a speeding SUV car hit them.

Almost 14 other are reported injured in a road accident at Minapur of Muzaffarpur in Bihar. The students were crossing the road while a speeding bolero van hit them.

“All the injured said to be around 20 in number, have been rushed to the Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital for treatment. The condition of some of them was stated to be critical,” he said.

The MLA of the area has alleged that the driver of the van was drunk. Whereas Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has announced Rs 4 Lakh each as ex-gratia to the families of the deceased.

WeForNews

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