Outpatient departments (OPD) in most private hospitals and nursing homes in the urban areas of Haveri, Gadag and Dharwad remained closed on Saturday in response to a nationwide call for OPD closure in protest against National Medical Commission Bill.
The 12-hour closure call, by the Indian Medical Association, had it impact in cities and bigger towns of these districts while in smaller towns there was mixed response.
In cities like Haveri, Gadag, Dharwad and Hubballi, the members of the local IMA branches staged demonstrations and submitted memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister opposing the move to table the NMC Bill.
As the OPDs remained closed on account of the strike call, people from the surrounding villages who came for consultation were caught unaware.
While those who had come to consult specialist doctors, returned after being informed about the strike, those who needed immediate treatment went to district government hospitals for consultation.
Consequently there was an increase in number of outpatients in government hospitals and medical institutes like Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hubballi.
Some patients were seen seeking guidance at medical shops and some took over the counter medicines for temporary relief.
In Hubballi, led by president of IMA, Hubballi, G.B. Sattur, secretary Sachin Revankar and other office-bearers, the doctors and junior doctors submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the memorandum they have said that the National Medical Commission Bill along with the amendments thereto proposed by the Centre and moved before the Lok Sabha had a draconian character which would cause irreparable damage to the interests of all the stakeholders and would reduce down regulatory mechanism to a puppetry with its strings attached to the government.
Most clinics remained closed in Belagavi as private practitioners went on strike.
Shutters were down on clinics and posters like `We oppose NMC’ were pasted on the doors of clinics.
Patients, who came from other taluks or villages, had to go to the district hospital or some corporate hospitals that functioned.
Yadgir and Raichur
Over 200 private hospitals, including clinics, nursing homes, suspended their OPD service from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Yadgir and Raichur. However, service to the in-patient department was not disrupted.
Patients and their caretakers were seen waiting for the doctors in both the urban and rural areas.
“We don’t know about the strike. But, we don’t have any alternative option except to wait for the doctor,” a woman said.
To provide medical service to the patients, government hospitals made all arrangements. They deployed the all staffs to attend patients and do not let the medical officers to go on leave on this day.
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