KOZHIKODE: “Is an orthopaedic doctor available there?” A flood of such queries have been reaching the office and the casualty wing of the Government Taluk Hospital in Koyilandy for the past two days. The umpteen calls have become a mode of protest, and an angry reaction, to the harsh response of a hospital staffer when a woman made an enquiry.
After the audio clip of the telephonic conversation went viral on social media, the woman staffer -- hired on contract -- was suspended by the hospital authorities on Friday, as directed by the directorate of health services. The unsavoury incident happened a few days ago when a woman rang up the hospital office and asked about the availability of an orthopaedic doctor, to which the staffer replied: “The doctor will be available on all days except when on leave.” The bewildered woman repeated the question and the staff too repeated her reply. The caller then asked her whether the doctor was available on that particular day, and the staffer, in a rather harsh tone, told her to call on a landline number to find out.
The telephonic conversation invited the wrath of the people against the typically bureaucratic arrogance. On June 15, the audio clip appeared on social media and the hospital has since been getting more than 100 calls a day asking for the orthopaedic doctor’s availability. The hospital staff are disturbed by these repeated calls, with people trying to mock and troll the hospital authorities.
An employee told The New Indian Express: “Till 5 PM on Friday, I have attended to at least 50 calls and others have attended to more than 100 calls asking about the availability of an orthopaedic doctor. We are indeed facing a difficult situation because the hospital has a dearth of staff in each department.” If a woman staffer attends to the phone call, people are showering abuse too, said the hospital employee. A senior doctor at the Koyilandy taluk hospital said the hospital is being victimised for no reason.
EFFICIENT EMPLOYEE: “The suspended woman was one of the most efficient among our staff, especially during the Covid period. In a particularly hectic moment, and due to pressure, she might have reacted in a harsh tone, which is unjustifiable,” the doctor said.