New Delhi, Nov 29: Resident doctors of the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) today struck work in protest against the AIIMS Amendment Bill, which paves the way for Institute Director P Venugopal's exit.
The out-patient department remained closed, leaving scores of patients stranded even as emergency services were functional.
''It will be an indefinite strike. We are protesting against the autocratic attitude of Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss. He got this Bill passed just to score points over Dr Venugopal, who is anyway going to retire within next six months. Why can't they let him function?'' AIIMS Resident Doctors Association President Kumar Harsh said.
''We are not demanding his tenure extention,'' Dr Harsh added.
''It is a black day in the history of AIIMS and the Union Health Minister is only up to humiliating Dr Venugopal,'' AIIMS Faculty Association President Vinod Kumar Khaitan said.
Many patients had to face a lot of harassment because of the strike. A patient, who had come Sasaram (Bihar), said, ''We did not know about the strike and spent a lot on Railway fares to come here but these doctors are being selfish. They should resort to some other methods to raise their demands and not harass us.'' Dr Harsh said if any patient died during the strike period, it will be the responsibility of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Dr Ramadoss who have brought matters to such a passe.
''Why should Parliament devote so much time to a small institute like AIIMS when there are many other important matters pending which require its attention,'' Dr Harsh said.
The matter was not even listed and passed amid strong protest from Opposition.