Healthcare services at government-run hospitals in Telangana were affected on Friday as junior doctors boycotted all emergency services to protest against the National Medical Commission (NCM) Bill 2019.
On a call given by Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA), 3,500 junior doctors at government-run teaching hospitals intensified their protest by boycotting emergency duties.
Outpatient and emergency services at Hyderabad's Osmania Hospital and Gandhi Hospital, two biggest government-run healthcare facilities, came to a halt.
The services also came to a standstill at Niluofer Hospital, the biggest government-run facility for children. A similar situation was witnessed at MGM Hospital in Warangal.
Poor patients coming from various parts of the state suffered as junior doctors stayed away from their duties. The regular staff proved insufficient to cater to a large number of patients. Many waited for hours and with no option left they had to approach private hospitals for emergency treatment.
Some junior doctors continued indefinite hunger strike at the Gandhi Hospital, demanding the withdrawal of the NMC Bill.
Officials said they were using the services of the faculty to deal with the situation.
Junior doctors had been boycotting elective or non-emergency services for the past two days. TJUDA said it intensified the protest as part of the ongoing nationwide strike called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
The protesting doctors have called the NMC Bill anti-poor and anti-student. The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Junior doctors say the Bill will promote quackery as it allows non-MBBS graduates to become licensed practitioners. They believe the Bill would affect the quality of medical education and thereby work against the interests of the poor.