Bengaluru: The State Government appears to be hesitant over its plans to regulate private medical practitioners by amending the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act.
The state cabinet on Thursday gave only an in-principle approval to the proposed amendments and left the final call to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who will review them before the Bill is tabled in the legislature.
With this, there is uncertainty on whether it will be tabled in the winter session of the legislature starting Monday in Belagavi.
According to sources, members took dig at minister Ramesh Kumar for hurrying to implement a new act when it came up for discussion in the state cabinet meeting. Most of the ministers observed that in an election year what is the hurry for implementing the act?
Citing the example of November 3 strike by doctors they warned Ramesh Kumar that if doctors go on indefinite strike it may have an adverse effect on the state government’s popularity. Following the opposition, Ramesh Kumar agreed not to table the bill in the next session. Instead, he accepted the suggestion on holding a further consultation.
The amendments are being opposed vehemently by private medical practitioners who have planned protests in Belagavi. Among other things, the amendments propose fixing fees for treatments and stringent punishment for violations.
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs T B Jayachandra said some changes have been brought to the Bill after it was referred to the select committee. “Some demands for changes have come during the discussion with doctors. The doctors have also met the Chief Minister,’’ he said.
Private doctors have been seeking dilution of the Bill and are opposed to the provision of grievance committee and government fixed rate list for medical services among others.