Shimla: Patient care services in all government hospitals and dispensaries in Himachal Pradesh were affected badly as doctors went on a day-long strike on Monday.
Only casualty services and emergency surgeries were working.
The strike came following the Himachal Medical Officers Association (HMOA) call for an agitation over its demands, including safety of doctors and pay parity.
Most patients who turned up at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla and Rajendra Prasad Medical College in Tanda town in Kangra district were caught unawares.
Official sources said doctors in over 700 government hospitals and dispensaries were on strike. HMOA president Jiwanand Chauhan said the failure of the government to ensure safety of doctors in the hospitals has forced them to go on strike.
"For the past four years we have been demanding safety of doctors on duty but the government is silent on the issue," he said. The association has claimed that a doctor after facing humiliation from politically connected people in a hospital in Una suffered a heart attack.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh said the government is concerned over the safety of the doctors. He said the government is bringing a bill in the ensuing budget session for the safety of the doctors.