The hundreds of resident doctors in Delhi who had gone on mass leave to protest caste based quotas Friday suspended their agitation for the next three months with the reservation bill being referred to a parliamentary standing committee.
"As the parliament has referred the reservation bill to the standing committee, we have called off the agitation for the time being. The bill will be placed in the floor of the house in the winter session and till that time we will not take to the streets," said Manish Nathani, senior resident doctor of the Maulana Azad Medical Science (MAMC).
"The decision of the parliament is a vindication of our demand. The bill will now be debated more elaborately before the winter session. Some of the resident doctors have already returned to work and most of us are joining duty by tomorrow morning," Nathani told IANS.
Resident doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College (Safdarjung Hospital), University College of Medical Sciences (Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital), Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC-LNJP hospital) and the Hindu Rao Hospital had gone on mass casual leave for the second day Friday, paralysing healthcare in the capital.
On Thursday, scores of resident doctors were detained and police had filed a case of rioting against them.
"The general body meeting is going decide the course of action till the winter session," said Arun Pal Singh, a senior resident doctor of UCMS.
A majority of resident doctors at AIIMS have already joined work, much to the relief of the thousands of patients, many of whom come to the premier facility from various corners of the country.
"My wife has been suffering from ulcers and relatives in Patna told me to come to AIIMS but I was refused treatment yesterday. I have come again today, but it is a futile effort as they stopped registration at 10 a.m. instead of the usual 10.30 a.m.," said Raghubir Yadav in the morning.
Some patients had complained that officials manning the registration desk were asking for "bribes" to give early numbers.
"They are taking Rs.30-40 to give an early number in the registration list," said Kamlesh Singh, who is suffering from tuberculosis and came to the capital from neighbouring Ghaziabad.
Initially, the nationwide protests had started in April-May.
The protests restarted when the cabinet decided on Monday to introduce a bill in the ongoing session of parliament to implement the reservations.