Thousands of patients at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had a tough time on Wednesday as its junior doctors continued their strike to protest their not having received postgraduate degrees, despite having passed out two years ago.
Resident doctors, students, and interns held a meeting following which they threatened to suspend emergency services if they didn't get their degrees by Wednesday.
"We will intensify the agitation and stop work in all departments if we do not get our degrees," AIIMS Resident Doctors Association President Kumar Harsh said.
"We don't know why Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss is not signing our degree certificates. If he wants he can solve the problem within an hour," Harsh said.
Meanwhile, patients were seen waiting for hours in front of the out patient departments. However, the emergency and ICU services in the hospital were running normally.
Over 500 resident doctors of AIIMS in New Delhi went on an indefinite strike from 7 pm on Tuesday.
"It took 12 years for me to build my career but the health minister is playing with it," Nitin Kukkar, a striking doctor, told IANS.
The protesting medicos alleged that Ramadoss had not signed the certificates 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.