On Tuesday, patient care was badly affected in city’s premier hospitals with the doctors observing strike to press on their demands. Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the associated hospitals of Government Medical College including SMHS, Chest Disease, Bone and Joint and Lal Ded Hospital. Among the demands, the doctors have been pushing for removal of pay disparity that exists between the associated hospitals and that of SKIMS. The doctors have demanded to make their pay at par to that of the resident doctors of SKIMS. The government’s response has been relieving orders issued against 21 doctors. With the doctors taking the agitation route, it is the most unfortunate development in the state’s failing health care system. Doctors going on strike has become a recurring problem, and it gives a wrong signal about the affairs in the health department. The government must have addressed the issue much earlier. If the demands are genuine, it should work for the removal of the disparity and not keep the doctors in the dark. But if there is any reason that justifies the pay anomaly between the institutions, the same need to be conveyed to the doctors. By delaying an acceptable settlement, the government and the department have done disservice to the community. The doctors also need to cooperate with the authorities. The agitation mode may be their last resort, but for people who go to the hospitals seeking medical attention and treatment, it is no option at all. By observing strikes, the doctors are blocking the medical care to the patients, which is inexcusable. The image of the medical profession has already been dented. To put the picture in its right perspective the doctors must ask themselves – if the patient is their own family member would they still bat for removal of pay disparities/demands and go on a strike or attend the patient. The empathy, which is the essence of the profession, seems to be missing nowadays as doctors put their professionalism above humanitarian considerations. If the excessive individualism is not addressed now, it might do great damage in the future. The doctors must draw a line, and not act as a bunch of disgruntled professionals who would come on the street to protest. The government must also pay attention to their demands and do what is possible, without procrastinating the issue further.