AIIMS doctors end strike
The doctors are protesting against the passage of a bill which paves the way for Director P Venugopal's exit.delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2007 20:08 IST
Doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), protesting against the passage of a bill which paves the way for Director P Venugopal's exit, on Thursday called off their strike after he moved the Supreme Court challenging the bill.
The out-patients department of AIIMS remained closed for a few hours in the morning due to the strike, leaving scores of patients stranded, though emergency services were functioning.
The strike was called by the resident doctors Wednesday when the AIIMS bill was passed in parliament amid wide protests from opposition benches.
Shortly after calling off the strike, AIIMS Resident Doctors Association President Kumar Harsh said doctors would be monitoring the situation closely and would resort to a strike again if union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss continued to interfere in the institute's functioning.
Both houses of parliament passed the AIIMS and Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, limiting the tenure of directors to five years and the maximum retirement age at 65, whichever being less.
The Lok Sabha witnessed angry exchanges between the opposition and ruling coalition members over the bill.
The move could pave the way for removal of Venugopal from the post. Both he and Ramadoss have been locked in a turf war for the last two-and-a-half years.
Though the President is yet to ratify the bill, Venugopal decided to move the apex court challenging it.
Even as the doctors called off their short-lived strike, the Delhi High Court pulled up the striking doctors, threatening them with cancellation of licence and deduction of their pay if they continue with their strike.
Chief Justice NK Sarma and Justice Sanjeev Khanna issued the directive, taking suo motu cognisance of the strike.