KPME - Karnataka Medical Tourism or Terrorism
15TH OF NOVEMBER 2017
MEMORANDUM BY DOCTORS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN KARNATAKA AGAINST THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE KPME ACT
- THE HON’BLE PRESIDENT OF INDIA
- THE HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
- THE HON’BLE GOVERNOR OF KARNATAKA
- THE HON’BLE CJI, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
- THE HON’BLE MINISTER, MINISTRY OF HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE
- THE CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER, ECI, NEW DELHI
- THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
- THE KARNATAKA STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
- THE INDIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
- THE MEDICAL COUNCIL OF INDIA
- THE PRESIDENT, INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
- THE GENERAL SECRETARY, INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
THIS PETITION IS AGAINST THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE KPME ACT (AMENDED) BEING TABLED BY THE CONGRESS GOVERNMENT IN KARNATAKA
THIS PETITION HIGHLIGHTS THE FACT THAT THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AND CONSEQUENTIALLY THE HEALTH OF PATIENTS OF THE STATE SHALL BE AT RISK, IF THIS ACT IS IMPLEMENTED
PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO BE TAKEN TO MAKE UNDERSTAND THE LAWMAKERS THAT HUMAN ANATOMY IS NOT AN ASSEMBLAGE OF INANIMATE SPARE PARTS
THIS PETITION SEEKS THE SCRAPPING OF THE KPME BILL IN TOTO FOR THE FOLLOWING INFORMED-LOGICAL REASONS:
- The Government cannot discriminate the treatment of ‘Patients’ as Public or Private. The treatment is for the condition of the patient and not whether the patient obtains treatment. at a Government Hospital or a Private Medical Establishment . KPME Act differentiates the ‘treatment’ at Government Hospital differently from those in the Private Hospital, which is against the essence of the Constitution of India. Hence this act should be abolished in toto.
- The KPME Act creates a NEW CRIME – in as much as – it has introduced criminality of those that did not exist earlier. Introduction of a new crime within the sections of the society, especially when public utility services are being provided, itself is not only illegal but also void abinitio. A law should mitigate problems, but this KPME Act is aggravating problems within the society by giving unhindered powers to the general public against private medical establishment and doctors therein, apart from introducing separate authorities to try the ‘crime’. These are from the non-medical fields and may even be unaware of the medical field. Hence, the provision of specific position to such persons as mentioned in the Act, for trying doctors in the private health care sector, diminishes the value of this noble profession and this shall lead to a societal chaos, which the law makers supporting this Act are unaware of. Lack of vision is the basis for this act. Hence this act should be abolished in toto.
- Since it is the citizens of India who elect Governments, so as to secure welfare for one and all, an ill-conceived, short-sighted, election-result oriented act/s does not visualize the benefits or non-benefits or misuse of benefits in implementing such draconian laws. KPME Bill, if enacted, shall ruin the economy of the State of Karnataka for sure since it not only reduces the private health care practitioners within the State, but also shall deprive the common citizen from accessing good quality health care, which has not been demonstrated in Government run hospitals till date. The citizens suffer ultimately. Hence this act should be abolished in toto.
- The Congress led Government in Karnataka had ample time to discuss the matters since 2013, but, to gain a short term public sympathy for the sake of votes, is rancorous and hence why should this Government, which has demonstrated that it had been sleeping over the health care issue for so long and which has now woken up with a devilish intention to destroy the private health care sector, be allowed to continue governance. Since the party has not demonstrated any vision, a government without ideas, positive and welfare-oriented ideas, need to be restrained from contesting further elections in the future.
- Since the Congress Government in Karnataka has shown an adamant nature in implementing the KPME Act without differentiating the Public Vs Private Organizational structures, rights which are granted under the Constitution of India, the act itself is illegal in the sense, a private establishment cannot be regulated by the Government, without any rightful cause. The KPME Bill, is disastrous in its form, content and structure and hence need to be scrapped. Hope, Mr Rahul Gandhiji shall show an intelligent, prosperity-inclined courage and take action in this regard by tearing-off this bill, which is not only unscientific but also abets socio-terrorism, which is unwarranted at any cost. Hence this act should be abolished in toto.
- If the KPME Act is implemented without considering the costs involved in setting up a private medical establishment, big – medium – small, the losses arising out of such an act, shall be borne by the tax-payers, i.e., the citizens of the State, both on the medical and economic fronts, which leads to a deterioration in the over-all well-being of the citizens, since Government run hospitals cannot cater to the technological needs, along with the global trend, of patients. Implementing an act which is against provision of public health and safety, is a crime. Hence this act should be abolished in toto.
- Private medical Practitioners cannot be regulated, through a specific act, to cap their fees since their structure is totally different from government run organizations. Assuming this act is implemented, it is ridiculous to expect any doctor to charge an amount fixed by this act and pay hefty amounts as penalty, just because a medically-uneducated person or authority set up under the act feels so. The income does not match the penalty provisions, within the act itself. Hence this act should be abolished in toto.
- According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, (www.ibef.org), Healthcare has become one of India's largest sectors both in terms of revenue & employment. The Private medical establishments contributes 74% of the country’s total healthcare expenditure. Telemedicine is a fast-emerging trend in India; major hospitals (Apollo, AIIMS, Narayana Hrudayalaya) have adopted telemedicine services and entered into a number of public-private partnerships (PPP). Further, presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals has strengthened India’s position as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Further investment in healthcare infrastructure is set to rise, benefiting both 'hard' (hospitals) and 'soft' (R&D, education) infrastructure. KPME Act, on implementation, negates the above report and shall cause deterioration in the Patient-Doctor relationship, causing huge loss to the private medical practitioners, which in turn, scares away medical tourism and investment through foreign investment in the private sector. Mr Narendra Modi, the Hon’ble PM of India, is seeking Foreign Investments and the Congress Government is working just opposite to this, which is an archaic and anti-developmental attitude, which portrays the lack of good ideas within the Party. How can one entrust the governance of a State to a political party, which causes more harm to the citizens of the State? If prudent enough, the congress Government should not seek the enactment of this unscientific, inexpert, instinctive, half-baked, irrational KPME Act. Citizens might not be aware of the implication of this Act immediately, but, as the private medical establishments diminish in the state, the present government unable to live-up to the standards of health care, it may be envisioned what would be the fate of the general populace, specially when the doctors are sent to jail. Only an amateurish, incompetent, unprofessional support this bill. It gives a doubt whether there are any good advisors to the Government at all? It also scares away aspiring youngsters who want to become doctors, due to the implementation of this Act, which is against the Constitution of our great country. Hence this Act should be scrapped in toto.
- India follows the adversarial system of justice. Forbidding this principle, is against the values enshrined in our Constitution specially Articles 14 – 22. Hence this Act should be scrapped in toto.
- A government needs to take all sections of the society in a congenial manner. This KPME Bill is an anti-thesis to this principle. Hence this Act should be scrapped in toto.
WHY IS THE KPME BILL / ACT ILLEGAL & ILLOGICAL?
IMPRISONMENT, ITS LEGAL MEANING & IMPLICATIONS WITH REFERENCE TO KPME BILL/ACT:
Imprisonment – The terminology is described as below.
- It is a restraint of a man’s liberty
- It is a form of slavery
- An individual cannot barter away his liberty nor can he be deprived of it, without due process of law
- A person cannot give his own body in pledge and cannot consent to be imprisoned
In order to imprison a person, a ‘crime’ should exist, be proven against the person and if found to have violated the law, or has committed any harmful act or omission, ONLY UPON CONVICTION, can a person be imprisoned. The standards of proof for crimes should be higher and the guilt should be established beyond a reasonable doubt. How can those from the grievance cell, who are unable to understand any of the modern allopathic terminologies, human anatomy, medical gadgets etc., understand what goes in to the treatment process? Since they are not trained, their judgment shall neither be logical nor theoretical nor practical and if they are given the powers to punish a doctor through imprisonment, the very action of appointing them under the garb of an enactment, shall be without any foundation and hence renders such actions not only illegal but also void abinito. KPME uses the term ‘Imprisonment’ against Private Medical Establishment and doctors, but has not defined ‘Crime’ so as to attract imprisonment. Nowhere in the world, has the misutilization of the term ‘imprisonment’ been used to enact a law against doctors, except in this devilish and unreasoned KPME Bill.
Does the act impose any accountability, for wrong decisions on the grievance cell members, which might be considered wrong at a later date? What will happen to the family of the Doctor? Above all, what will happen if doctors are being imprisoned, one by one and say at the end of 2 years, no new doctors have entered into the profession and old doctors are not available nor those released from jail are ready to practice over all again? What shall the KPME ACT, if implemented, intend to provide in terms of health care, by scaring off the doctors through this draconian act? The punishment providers (grievance cell members) run scot free not only by ruining the professional doctors but also the community as a whole. But the moot question which remains is :
What is the basis of the crime? – A complaint by a patient or the relatives of the patient. Is the Government serious at all? Can this constitute a crime, in the modern era, where more emphasis is being laid on much softer measures, even in cases like murder, rape etc. Should persons who are not even aware of the anatomy and its workings judge doctors, who have toiled their life for securing such expertise? The KPME, is thus, illegal and cannot be passed as law, ONLY IF DOCTORS ARE AWARE OF THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
PROFESSIONAL FEES CAPPING:
No person can be barred from carrying on his profession or charge his or her fees, for professional services rendered. A capping, is against the fee being charged by a professional. Reasonable restrictions may be imposed only in the interests of general public. If a person, in this case a doctor, is carrying on an ethical business, there is no law to cap his earnings and if done, is against Article 19 of the Constitution and hence this KPME is illegal, right from its inception. A fee is charged by a professional, based on his qualification, experience, expertise, facilities available, personal reputation etc. A new theatre artist, entering into the profession, cannot, for example, charge the fees as that of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The KPME is devoid of logic and common sense. In a market driven economy, price swings based on demand supply is the norm. Capping of individual earnings by the Government, is in violation of the rights granted to a citizen. Fees, is further analyzed and is based on the facilities provided by a private establishment, since no machinery, gadget etc., comes for free. On import, the price escalates and how can a private enterprise recover its investment? Can the present Government proposing the KPME, raise private health care investment through any single foreign investor with KPME over his head? The conveying message is that, with KPME, not only local doctors shift their base, but even foreign investors also would dread to even think of investment in Karnataka. This KPME, if implemented, would reduce the foreign inflows too, thereby depriving the populace of better medical facilities, which is the opposite of what the government wants to achieve through KPME. Neither the present Karnataka Government is in a position to provide quality instrumentation at Government run Hospitals, nor can it possess the courage to invite private sector to invest in health care, if the KPME Act is implemented. Citizens are left neither here nor there. What are the long term negative consequences of implementing this reckless KPME Act, is the one question which the government tries to avoid.
CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT TO BE ABOLISHED:
Services of a Doctor in relation to a patient, is with a living thing, i.e., a human being. Human body is not a product and even the CPA should be scrapped, since there are many laws which govern civil as well as criminal wrongs, even if committed by a Doctor. Both CPA and KPME need be abolished to provide better health care facilities to the general populace.
BANNING OF LAWYERS REPRESENTATION, IS AGAINST THE VERY FOUNDATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION:
Indian Judicial sytem follows the adversarial form of rendering justice, so that there shall be an impartial and unbiased hearing, with both parties being accorded equal opportunity. Banning the representation of lawyers, under the KPME, goes against this legal practice and hence KPME, if enacted, shall render itself to be against principles of natural justice and hence need to be scrapped in toto, right from its inception.
DISCUSSION ON KPME AT BELGAUM IS A WASTE OF PUBLIC MONEY:
Since the disadvantages in implementing KPME out weighs the positive results and since it is against the principles of natural justice and the Constitutional guaranteed rights, it is liable to be scrapped immediately, if properly represented to by all the doctors in the private medical establishments. A discussion on an illegal act at the Belgaum session, is a wastage of public money and the present government cannot utilize public money to create societal chaos and cause harm in the long term, especially in respect to public health, since a government has to provide basic health facilities, which is one of the fundamental right bestowed on every citizen of India, a depravation of the same cannot be sanctioned under the garb of ‘KPME ACT’. People should also understand that the present wooing by the government could have been done in the first year of its term and not at the fag end, so as to create public sympathy just for the purpose of remaining in power for the next five years. True, bad elements need to be weeded out in any profession, including that of the medical practitioners, but that can be done with the existing laws.
It is the duty of the doctors also, as informed citizens, to educate the public about the dangers that might engulf them in the near future, if this act is implemented, just as the roads of Bengaluru turns into a sea during rainy season, the foundation for which was the unplanned expansion of the city. The same logic applies here too. If the public are given unfettered rights to abuse the scholarly elite section, the government and consequentially the state shall sets in to doom to an abyss, which cannot be rectified easily, at a later date. Doctors, need to think over these, which are just a miniscule of the matters that may crop up later, but have been structured to overcome the present crisis and also as responsible citizens, the need to enforce legality is the need of the hour, since this KPME is illegal right from its inception.
We, the doctors from the Private Medical Establishments in Karnataka, Most Humbly place our signatures online, and present this Petition before the Hon’ble Constitutional Authorities, to intervene, as pertinent within the frame work of the Constitution and instruct suitable remedy in solving this on-going crisis, solely arising out of the tabling of the KPME Bill, as amended, during the current winter session of Karnataka Legislature at Belgaum. The KPME Bill and/or Act, is against the principles of public policy and fundamental rights guaranteed under the sacred Constitution and in the long term collapses the overall health of the citizens of Karnataka State and hence this Petition to annul the KPME Bill/Enactment with immediate effect and in toto, through the rights bestowed upon, in the larger interests of the State and its citizenry.
The Hon’ble President of India, may suo moto, treat this in the nature of a Public Health Conservation Appeal and remove the draconian law viz., the KPME (to be enacted) and help the Doctor-Patient relations to flower into a meaningful relation and as held since ages in our ancient land, ‘VAIDYO NARAYANO HARIHI’
With Humble and Obedient Reverences,
Doctors from the Private Medical Stream, Karnataka
15th November 2017