Bengaluru, Nov 8: The outpatient department services were paralysed on Friday in Karnataka as the Indian Medical Association (IMA) gave a 24-hour shutdown call in support of striking doctors of an eye hospital here, over alleged assault of a doctor.
"The IMA member nursing homes and hospitals will shut down the OPD services for 24 hours from 6am on Friday to 6pm on Saturday", IMA Karnataka chapter President Dr Annadani Meti said. Dr Dhanpal N, another IMA office-bearer said that the doctors, including private practitioners, will not attend to patients in OPD for the whole day. He, however, clarified emergency cases will be taken up during the day-long shut down.
Dr Srinivasa S, state secretary, IMA, said, “There are 25,000 private hospitals in the state. Of these, 5,000 are in Bengaluru. We have called upon all of them to go on a strike.” About 80 per cent of healthcare in the state is provided by us. Our hospitals will suspend services,” he said.
The Private Hospitals and Nursing Home Association (PHANA) has agreed to participate in the protest. A memo signed by Dr Govindaiah Yatheesh, honorary secretary, PHANA, said, “Junior doctors have to be appreciated for their bravery in fighting harassment. All emergency services, in-patient and labour room services will remain unaffected.”
The Karnataka State Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) has asked employees of all government hospitals to participate in a symbolic protest and not let services be hit. Dr G A Srinivas, president, KGMOA, however said they condemned the attack on doctors.
Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner, department of health and family welfare, has directed that all government hospitals continue to function as usual and that no services be withdrawn.
He also said no leave must be granted to any medical or paramedical staff on Friday. The doctors of the government Minto Eye Hospital are on a strike since Friday last protesting the alleged attack of a colleague by members of a pro-Kannada outfit.
The members of the outfit were upset that proper compensation was not given to the victims of an alleged botched cataract operation drive in July this year. A few people had lost their vision partially due to a drug reaction. (UNI)