The Karnataka High Court today asked the Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) whether it has made available any helpline to raise grievances against medical practitioners who refuse to treat non-COVID-19 patients. .This query was asked by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi in a plea claiming that during the pandemic, individual medical practitioners/doctors were refusing treatment to non-COVID-19 patients..Karnataka HC issues notice in PIL alleging refusal of individual medical practitioners/doctors to treat non-COVID-19 patients [Read plea].During the hearing, KMC submitted that directions had been issued to medical practitioners and deputy commissioners to ensure that no doctor refuses treatment to non-COVID-19 patients. .Responding to this, the Bench asked,."What is your [KMC's] authority to issue directions to government officers? You are expected to issue only guidelines to medical practitioners who are enrolled with you. You cannot issue directions to deputy commissioners and government officers. Nobody has given you that power." .Attempting to make a clarification in this regard, counsel for KMC replied, ."....in every district, there is Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Authority and Deputy Commissioners is the chairman of this Authority. Private Practitioners/ Hospitals come within its jurisdiction. We [KMC] have written a letter to all DHOs and Deputy Commissioners requesting them to instruct private practitioners not to deny treatment for non-COVID patients.".Unconvinced with this submisison, the Court further questioned,."What is the authority of the Deputy Commissioner to give directions to private practitioners? Deputy Commissioner is powerless to issue directions to all medical practitioners enrolled with Medical Council.".Counsel for the state government submitted that doctors refusing to treat non-COVID-19 patients amounts to "professional misconduct", and that KMC will have to regulate this. .Providing a solution to this question, the Court made the following suggestion, ."Issue a simple circular that if you [violating doctors] do this [refuse to treat non-COVID patients], it will entail serious consequences, it will be treated as profession misconduct and action will be taken against them.... As simple as that.".KMC agreed to do the same. Counsel for KMC also stated that it had not received any complaint against any doctor for refusal to treat non-COVID patients. .During the hearing, petitioner Advocate Ramesh Naik submitted,."Intention of the petition is not seeking coercive action against any doctor or private medical practitioner. We need their service during this critical time. KMC, being a competitive authority, cannot remain silent.".The matter will be next heard on August 14.