Over 500 resident doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday evening to protest their not having received postgraduate degrees, despite having passed out two years ago. Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has reportedly not signed the degrees.
The strike will affect the out patient services at the hospital from Wednesday.
"The health minister is playing with our career by not signing our degree certificates. We have gone on an indefinite strike from 7 pm onwards," Nitin Kukkar, an orthopaedic resident doctor, told IANS.
"We will provide emergency services at the intensive care unit but the OPD service will be suspended," he said.
The protesting medicos said that the health minister has not signed the certificates even though the other three signatories - director, registrar and dean - had signed.
Over 300 post-graduates of AIIMS are yet to receive their degree certificates, making it difficult for them to apply for jobs.
AIIMS is the top government hospital of the country that treats over 8,000 patients every day including nearly 6,000 in its OPDs.
Aman Dua, a postgraduate from AIIMS, told IANS: "I passed out in July 2005 but I am yet to receive my certificate. They told us that they would give us the certificates, but have not done so."
"I am working as a resident doctor at AIIMS, but will not be able to apply anywhere else. I had applied for a higher degree in Australia but I don't know what will happen now without the certificate. The Australian authorities have asked for the original document but I have sent them only a provisional one," said Dua, an orthopaedic.