Over 10,000 patients may have to return without treatment from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Thursday, as the Out Patient Department (OPD) will be shut.
The emergency ward too will close down when the AIIMS bill, seeking to limit superannuation age of directors of the institute, is passed in the Rajya Sabha, cautioned the Resident Doctors Association (RDA).
"If the bill is signed, entire AIIMS will be paralysed," said Dr Harsh Kumar, president, RDA. "The situation is worse than Pakistan. There was a lot of resistance in Lok Sabha at the time of passage of the bill. Only selected information was made available to the public. Who says we are a democratic nation?" he added.
The bill is being seen as an instrument using which Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss hopes to remove the medical institute's director P Venugopal.
"It is an unfortunate situation as the battle between two individuals is going to affect thousands of helpless patients. But strike is absolutely inevitable," said a senior doctor of the institute.
The faculty association of AIIMS also opposed the bill. "We are extremely pained about the fact that this person (Ramadoss) successfully misled the House and the bill was passed," said BK Khaitan, president.
In Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, several MPs protested the introduction of the bill, saying that it was not listed in the day's schedule. Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan later announced that the day's business had been revised to include the bill.
"As a mark of protest against this, we resolve that in the event of the bill being passed by the upper house, we will have no choice left but to resort to direct action," said Kahitan.