New Delhi: Hundreds of resident doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) went on an indefinite strike on Thursday evening demanding the immediate removal of a faculty member who allegedly slapped a resident doctor.
The indefinite strike is likely to paralyse many of the hospital functions including routine surgeries, out-patient clinics and academic activities.
"It is hereby informed to the concerned authorities that Resident Doctor's Association, AIIMS has declared an indefinite strike with effect from 5 p.m. on April 26, 2018," said a notice issued by the association and signed by RDA President Harjit Singh Bhatti.
RDA members said that Atul Kumar, Chief of R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, slapped a resident doctor (name withheld) during rounds on Wednesday in front of patients and other hospital staff for not keeping his patient ready when he was little ahead of his schedule.
"Due to the casual dealing of Atul Kumar by the authorities who has physically assaulted a resident doctor, we have no option but to preserve our self-respect and stop working ... Not only has Atul Kumar failed to lead by example, his repeated misbehavior has tarnished the student-teacher relationship.
"Such people should not be allowed to lead any department, and we demand his immediate resignation as Chief of R.P. Centre, AIIMS," said Bhatti.
Accepting the slapping incident, AIIMS in a statement said the accused faculty member has "apologised repeatedly to the resident, immediately and today morning".
It went on to say that the resident doctor wrote to AIIMS Director acknowledging the apologies tendered and "requested that no further action be taken in this regard".
However, the resident doctors have gone on an indefinite strike.
"As a consequence of this strike, all routine surgeries have been cancelled, out-patient clinics will run in a restricted manner, and all academic activity and exams are postponed indefinitely," said the hospital administration.
AIIMS further informed that it has instituted contingency measures to take care of the admitted patients including those in the ICUs and wards.
"The Director has appealed to the RDA to call off this illegal strike in the interest of patient care," AIIMS said in the statement.