The nationwide doctors' strike scheduled for December 11, Friday, is expected to cause major disruptions in healthcare services across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The strike has been called to protest against the Centre's decision to allow post-graduate Ayurvedic doctors to conduct surgeries.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a call for the withdrawal of non-COVID and non-essential services for 12 hours tomorrow. The strike will last from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on Friday. IMA has maintained that emergency services such as casualty, labour rooms and emergency surgeries won't be impacted by the strike as they are exempt from participating in the strike. ICU and CCU services are also exempt. IMA has already indicated that agitation against the government's decision can intensify in the coming weeks.
Private hospitals around the country have raised concern over the doctors' strike. These hospitals are taking steps to ensure smooth functioning of services throughout the day.
"We have advised the patients to confirm their out-patient department (OPD) appointments prior to arriving at the hospital, in case a clinician participates in the strike in an individual capacity," a spokesperson for Mumbai's Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital told the Mint.
According to Rajeev Sood, Dean of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, the impact of the strike may be felt in non-COVID government hospitals. "We are only calling patients that can't be managed at home," he added.
The IMA has claimed that misappropriating 58 surgical techniques and procedures of several specialties will result in compromising on patients' health and safety.
"... the purity and identity of Ayurveda stands equally challenged. That the council prescribed modern medicine text books and Ayurveda institutions practiced surgery with the assistance of modern medical doctors cannot be reason enough to legitimise encroachment into the jurisdiction and competencies of modern medicine," said Rajan Sharma, national president, IMA.