Healthcare services at several government and private hospitals in the national capital are likely to take a hit on Monday as scores of doctors have decided to boycott work for a day in support of their striking colleagues in West Bengal.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had given the June 17 strike call with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country. IMA members will also stage a dharna at its headquarters in New Delhi.
Doctors at the Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, RML Hospital as well as Delhi government facilities such as GTB Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital will not function on Monday.
The apex medical body, IMA, said all outpatient departments (OPDs), routine operation theatre services and ward visits will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am on Monday to 6 am Tuesday.
Emergency and casualty services will continue to function, it said.
In a late night statement, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said it will not participate in the nationwide strike called by the IMA, but will take out a protest march from 8 am to 9 am Monday.
"Keeping patient care in the centre, AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (RDA) has decided not to go on strike, but will take out a protest march from 8 am to 9 am on Monday," it said.
The premier medical institute also asked its faculty members, researchers, students and para medical staff to join the protest march.
"In view of the strike organised by the RDA on June 14, Friday, it has been decided to resort to a protest wherein patient care services will not be hampered to ensure that the backlog of patients, including those affected by the strike, is addressed appropriately," the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) and the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have extended their support to IMA's strike call.
"Emergent Executive Committee Meeting convened today decided to support the call given by IMA for withdrawal of non-essential services on 17th June (Monday) for 24 hours (6am to 6am) to protest against violence against doctors and hospitals. All clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic centres and hospitals are requested to shut down routine services," a statement by DMA said.
Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were reportedly attacked and seriously injured by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
In a show of solidarity, medical practitioners across the country chose not to work, leaving patients in the lurch.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence.
The apex medical body, IMA, has demanded a comprehensive central law in dealing with violence on doctors and healthcare staff.
Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed, it said in a statement.
Exemplary punishment for perpetrators of violence should be a component of the central law and suitable amendments be brought in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the IMA said.
The medical body had launched a four-day nationwide protest from Friday and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of the central law to check violence against healthcare workers.
A delegation of IMA, Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, United Resident and Doctors Association of India (URDA) and Federation of Resident Doctors Association met the Health Minister recently in this regard.