Bengaluru, Jun 17: Hundreds of private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics in Karnataka suspended outpatient services on Monday following a call by the Indian Medical Association to hold a day-long strike in solidarity with the doctors sitting on a protest in West Bengal.
The strike had a telling effect as people were seen struggling to get medical aid in private hospitals.
However, the government hospitals remained open as usual following a circular by the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare.
Health department sources said there was heavy rush at government hospitals since morning.
The IMA did not heed to state Health Minister S S Patil's appeal to keep the strike symbolic and not cause much trouble to people.
"Almost all private hospitals and clinics have shut their OPD services. Emergency and pregnancy cases were taken up," Karnataka IMA president N Dhanpal told news agency.
Prominent hospitals in Bengaluru which joined the strike were Apollo Hospitals, St John's Hospital, Narayana Hrudayalaya and Sagar Hospital, Dhanpal added.
Suresh Shastry, joint director, Health and Family Welfare Department, said the strike had no effect on government hospitals.
Junior doctors in West Bengal are on strike since June 11 after two of their colleagues were attacked and seriously injured allegedly by relatives of a patient who died at the NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
In a show of solidarity with their counterparts in Bengal, medical practitioners across the country have chosen to keep away from work.
Medical services in Karnataka hit as doctors protest