IMA seeks steps to save small hospitals

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The Indian Medical Association Hospital Board of India (IMA-HBI) has demanded that the government intervene immediately to rescue small and medium hospitals in the State and to end the ‘terrorism’ prevailing in the healthcare sector.

From an era of affordable and quality health care, when a strong public health system, neighbourhood clinics, and small and medium hospitals held the price line, Kerala had moved to an era where hospital was an industry and militant trade unionism was ruling the roost, IMA-HBI chairman R.V. Asokan said in a statement here on Wednesday.

The government had now sidestepped the minimum wages Act and its provisions and had fallen prey to the ‘blackmail’ by the nursing community, he alleged.

Cherthala hospital

The closure of KVM Hospital at Cherthala following the strike by nurses was a case study of what was happening in Kerala’s health sector. Many such small and medium hospitals had been closing down in many parts of the State in recent times and in all these places, corporate hospitals had stepped in to fill the space. This was only going to escalate the cost of health care in the State further, the statement said.

The government should put the clinical establishments Act on hold and fix wages as per the minimum wages Act, the board demanded.

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