Doctors in Nepal say shortages of life-saving medicines because of political protests that have blocked key roads could lead to a crisis as hospitals are starting to cut services.

Dr. Mukti Ram Shrestha of the Nepal Medical Association says hospitals are rescheduling surgeries by weeks, and patients are finding it difficult to get to medical facilities due to fuel shortages.

Shrestha says truckloads of medicines have been blocked at the main border crossing with India for the last few months by Nepal's Madhesi ethnic protesters. He says Indian authorities are also not allowing the shipments across even at points where there are no protests.

Madhesis have been protesting Nepal's new constitution. India, which has close cultural ties with the group, has restricted fuel and other exports to Nepal.