Medical services across the country came to a standstill on Monday after doctors affiliated to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) observed a one-day strike in protest against the proposed amendments to the Indian medical Council (IMC) Acts related to clinical establishment and private practice.
The token strike, involving over 2,00,000 medics, stalled health facilities throughout the country.
Hapless patients and their kin stood outside doctors' chambers at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).
" I have injuries on my hand, my child has suffered head injury and husband's leg is fractured. We are hoping that his leg gets plastered as soon as possible. The doctors are saying that they are on strike and won't be able to attend us," Rekha Kumari, a patient, said.
Hundreds of IMA medics including nurses and medical graduates also protested in Chennai.
State President of the IMA Dr. Prakasham informed that over 25,000 doctors of the state would be joining separate protests.
"By dissolving this council, they (the government) are bringing another council or National Commission for Human Resources for Health (NCHRH) Bill. According to that Bill, the federal system of the state will be completely severed and damaged,"he said.
In New Delhi, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the IMA to stop the nationwide protest.
"The Supreme Court has passed an interim order which says that we expect the doctors not to resort to strike. Therefore, it is as good as an interim order, preventing them from going on strike. So, we asked for the order copy to be issued today, and also to be communicated to all the hospitals and the media," M.N Krishnamurthi, a Supreme Court lawyer, said.
The proposed National Commission for Human Resources for Health (NCHRH) Bill promises formation of a central regulatory body to administer, develop and prepare curriculum for medical education in the country and the existing powers of the state commissions like the Medical Council of India (MCI) will be reduced.