BENGALURU: In response to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) call for a nationwide strike, hundreds of hospitals in Bengaluru and across Karnataka are expected to cancel their outpatient and other non-essential services on Monday. Thousands of doctors are also expected to participate in silent protests against the attacks on doctors in Kolkata.Several major medical facilities in Bengaluru, including MS Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, said they would keep their outpatient departments shut on Monday to protest against the attacks. “The Indian Medical Association calls for an all-India nation-wide withdrawal of non-essential services in all healthcare institutions on Monday, June 17, 2019,” said an IMA statement. “All non-essential services including OPDs will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6am to 6am the next day. All emergency and casualty services will continue to function.” IMA state secretary Srinivas S said more than 15,000 hospitals across Karnataka would take part in Monday’s strike. “Thousands of doctors will also join the protests,” he said. “Only outpatient services and teaching of medical students will be disrupted. Emergency services will continue as usual.” Minister for health & family welfare Sivananda S Patil, meanwhile, issued an appeal to the medical fraternity to not cause any disruptions to patient services. While condemning the attacks on doctors in Kolkata, he requested their counterparts in Karnataka to organise ‘symbolic protests’ instead of putting patients in distress. While pointing out that he was aware of the call for a nationwide strike, the minister said in a statement: “It is our responsibility to ensure that doctors receive protection and do not face any disturbance while discharging their duties. I request doctors to only engage in symbolic protests.”