Medical services in Sri Lanka came to a standstill and thousands suffered as doctors went on strike in the island nation on Wednesday against certain proposals in the country’s budget for next year.

The Government Medical Officers Association said more than 15,000 doctors went on a strike in over 900 hospitals, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, the strike was not reported in maternity and children’s hospitals and the Maharagama Cancer Hospital here.

Officials from the Health Ministry said thousands of patients were left without medical facilities.

The Ministry itself was informed of the strike at the “last moment”, it said.

The strike, which commenced on Wednesday morning, will end after 24 hours.