New Delhi: Tension is brewing once more in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where doctors have gone on strike again protesting against Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss' failure to sign their degrees.
Almost 700 doctors have been waiting for two years for their degrees and the only reason that the Health Minister has not signed them is because he is just too busy.
The strike, which saw many doctors sitting on a dharna outside the Minister's house late on Tuesday night, has finally elicited a response from Ramadoss.
"The certificates of the degrees were signed by the registrar of AIIMS, Dr Sandeep Agarwal. However, Dr Agarwal's appointment as registrar does not have the approval of the Governing Body, and therefore these documents are illegal and I cannot put my signature on illegal documents," he said.
He further went on to say that vested interests in AIIMS were provoking these strikes. "I appeal to the students not to let the patients suffer," he added.
Ramadoss stated that he would meet the Director of AIIMS, Dr P Venugopal, to resolve the current crisis, adding that his 'turf war' with Dr Venugopal was simply a media creation.
However, he was quick to state that: "It is unfortunate that AIIMS has become a manufacturing unit for producing doctors for the US and the UK."
Despite this scathing attack at the premiere medical institute, Ramadoss has said that a convocation would be held within a month, and all the students would be given the degrees due to them.
Meanwhile, AIIMS Director Dr Venugopal has said that patient care will not be affected in AIIMS and all pending degrees will be awarded on September 25.
1,200 Doctors Go On Strike
Late on Tuesday night, agitating doctors were stopped by the police near the Health Minister's house, where they had been sitting on a dharna. Forty agitators have even been detained by the police for demonstrating outside the Minister's residence.
Says President of the Resident Doctor Association, Dr Harish Kumar, "We will wait till 5 pm. If the Government doesn't respond by then and the Minister doesn't agree to sign our degrees, all emergency and ICU services will be stopped at AIIMS. OPD services will also not available in AIIMS."
There will be an General Body Meet of AIIMS resident doctors on Wednesday to discuss the issue.