Healthcare services at government hospitals, including AIIMS, were severely hit on Thursday as resident doctors withdrew all services including emergency services in protest against a Bill which they say will encourage quacks.
The strike has been called against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which is set to be presented on Thursday in the Rajya Sabha by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Besides the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the strike also badly affected the neighbouring Safdarjung Hospital and the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the heart of the city.
All three hospitals, particularly AIIMS and Safdarjung, receive thousands of patients from all over the country each day.
"If the Bill gets passed in the Rajya Sabha, we will intensify our protests," said Prakash Thakur of the Residents Doctors Association at Safdarjung Hospital.
In a tweet on Wednesday night, Harsh Vardhan assured the public and the medical fraternity that the Bill would prove to be historic.
The IMA has termed the Bill "draconian" and "anti-people".
It has raised concern over Section 32 of the NMC Bill that provides for licensing of 3.5 lakh non-medical persons or Community Health Providers to practise modern medicine.