Doctors' Strike: Patients Suffer As Nationwide Agitation Cripples Medical Services Across India; Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Steps In
Patients outside AIIMS in Delhi (Photo Credits: ANI)

New Delhi, June 14: Several patients were sent back or had to wait helplessly outside hospitals as doctors in several parts of the country went on strike on Friday to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues in West Bengal. Patients in West Bengal and Delhi were largely affected as doctors at state-run healthcare facilities boycotted work for a day. Various medical bodies, including the Indian Medical Association (IMA), have joined the strike.

"My mother's dialysis was scheduled for today, we were told to go & get it done from somewhere else," the relative of a patient at AIIMS said. All outpatient departments or OPDs are shut today in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). A large crowd was seen outside the AIIMS. A delegation representing Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS also met Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan over violence against doctors in West Bengal. Doctors' Strike Extends Across India From West Bengal; Check List Of Medical Services Available And Shut Today.

A chaos-type situation was seen outside Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital as well. Around 1,600 resident doctors of the Safdarjung Hospital joined the strike. No doctor was available in OPDs. "This will affect the clinics and routine services, however, we will ensure that the emergency department functions properly," said Dr Prakash Thakur, president of Safdarjung Hospital’s resident doctors’ association. Principal, Vice Principal of NRS Medical College Resign as Doctors' Strike Continues.

In West Bengal, doctors continued their protest and boycotted the work demanding deployment of armed policemen at hospitals to ensure their safety. The doctors went on a strike after two of their colleagues at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital were allegedly beaten up relatives of a patient who died late Monday night due to alleged negligence.

AIIMS hospitals in Raipur, Patna and Punjab are also observing protest shutdown. Resident doctors in several government hospitals in Kerala and Hyderabad also staged protests as they started their 'cease work' demonstrations in respective cities. Around 4,500 Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) stopped attending to patients in all the 26 government hospitals in the state simultaneously on Friday.

"I would like to assure all doctors that the government is committed to their safety. I appeal to doctors to hold symbolic protests only & continue to carry out their duties," said Dr Harsh Vardhan. The minister said Mamata Banerjee's ultimatum irked the protesting doctors, adding that he will speak to the chief minister on the issue.