Mangaluru, Nov 04, 2017: Private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics suspended outpatient services in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi supporting the State-wide bandh, protest by private doctors called by the State chapter of the Indian Medical Association on Friday.
The doctors opposed the move of the State government to amend the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act (KPME) Act 2007.
Major hospitals in the city such as the Kasturba Medical College hospitals, Father Muller Medical College Hospital, AJ Hospital and Research Centre, Yenepoya Hospital, Unity Hospital, Omega Hospital, Tejasvini Hospital and other nursing homes closed down their outpatient departments.
On the outskirts of the city, the KS Hegde Medical College Hospital and the Yenepoya Hospital at Deralakatte shut operations in their OPDs. Many hospitals and nursing homes displayed boards outside their premises supporting the bandh.
However, there was rush in the Government Wenlock Hospital in the city for outpatient services. Annayya Kulal, co-ordinator, coastal division, Karnataka chapter of the IMA, said that the strike by doctors was a success. All private hospitals in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada supported the bandh. Dr. Kulal said that the association had requested private specialist doctors to attend to emergency cases especially in the taluk headquarters in government hospitals, if there was a need.
Ramakrishna Rao, District Health and Family Welfare Officer, said that his office did not receive any complaints from people on deficiency in services in government hospitals. Meanwhile, members of the Dakshina Kannada chapter of the IMA, led by Raghavendra Bhat, met the DK DC Sasikanth Senthil and submitted a memorandum.
According to a statement from the Department of Information, the number of outpatients treated at the Wenlock Hospital went up to 1,360 on Friday from the usual 800-900.
The hospital conducted 23 surgeries and treated 71 emergency cases and admitted 121 persons as in-patients.
In the Government Lady Goschen Hospital here, doctors conducted 20 cases between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., against the usual 10 deliveries. Of the total deliveries conducted, seven were Caesarean. Of the total women, 13 had been admitted to the hospital following labour pain.
Private doctors’ strike: Govt hospitals witness extra rush
An elderly woman, who was suffering from chest pain, was taken to many private hospitals in the city, but in vein. Finally, relatives brought her to Wenlock Hospital where she was treated by the doctors. Many such instances were reported in the city. District surgeon and superintendent of Wenlock Hospital H R Rajeshwari Devi told TOI that the hospital has provided treatment to all patients successfully. All doctors and other staff were directed not to avail leaves on Nov 3, Friday. As per the government circular, we ensured that all units in our hospital function in a full-fledged manner. While all the 18 specialists and other staff were on duty, the KMC Hospital too has extended its service as per the MoU. Hence, the functioning in our hospital was not affected in any manner," DMO stated. However, it is understandable that patients had to wait their turn due to the rush.
Udupi Govt. Hospital faces crowding:
There was quite a heavy rush at the District Government Hospital Udupi, while there was a marginal increase in rush at the Taluk Hospitals and Community Health Centres due to a shutdown by private medical establishments in protest against the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Amendment Act 2017, on Nov 3, Friday.
Madhusudhan Nayak, Udupi District Surgeon, told media that there was over 25 % increase in the number of patients to the District Government Hospital. “Normally, we used to get about 500 patients a day. But today, we had over 760 patients till 7 p.m. The Emergency Ward received the most patients and it was very busy,” he said.
Rohini, District Health and Family Welfare Officer, said that there was a marginal increase in the flow of patients at the taluk hospitals in Kundapur and Karkala and also in the Community Health Centres in the district.