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New Delhi: As the Indian Medical Association (IMA) went on an all-India strike today, hospital services have come to a halt after the withdrawal of non-essential services.

The announcement of the strike came a day after the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan asked states to consider enacting specific legislation for protecting doctors and medical professionals from any form of violence.

All non-essential services, including outdoor patient department (OPD) services, stand crippled for 24 hours from 6 AM on Monday to 6 AM on Tuesday.

The apex body has demanded a comprehensive central law to deal with violence on doctors and healthcare staff in hospitals.

“Healthcare violence has its origin in high expectations, lack of infrastructure and inadequate human resources. Issues of medical profession involving a doctor-patient relationship, effective communication regarding the nature of illness and professional counselling play a part as well,” said IMA in a statement.

“The IMA expects the Government of India to provide for each of these components,” the statement read.