A woman approaching Trivandrum Medical College Casualty is not entitled to treatment without a male companion
Does this sound normal or absurd? Today evening (7th November 2014) , when I reached home, my younger son, 5 years old said,”Amma, I have put a rubber in my ears coz my friend told me to do so”. I looked at him furiously and asked him to show me. I saw a small white thing, presumably the rubber inside his ears. He said it is painful for him and is hearing some sounds inside. Not to take a chance, I took him to an ENT specialist next to my home at Kumarapuram at 6.30 pm.
Neighbor Aunty tried taking it, but advised me to take him to Medical College casualty as they have more access to variety of instruments and there will be an ENT doctor 24*7. Right after that, I took him to TVM casualty at around 7.30 pm. Met a doctor at Triage, who advised me to take my son to the ENT department inside. I waited in the ENT department for the PG to come after him lunch. Meanwhile, my apartment neighbor called me and advised to go to KIMS. I replied to her, “Government hospital has the best skilled doctors and I prefer that over private doctors at this hour”, it was 9.30 pm then. A PG posted in ENT, a nice gentleman, apologized for making us wait as he had gone for dinner. I reassured him that waiting was never a problem for us.
He started picking out the rubber from my son’s ears, as it was coming in pieces. He kept on trying patiently with help of another doctor, a nurse and a hospital attendant. Suddenly a senior doctor (posted in ENT casualty supervising the PG) out of nowhere came to our assistance. He came and asked, ”Nee aara” (Who are you) .I said I am his mother. He further asked, Are you a staff here”, I said, “No”. He asked “Ninte kode aaru vannittundu”(Who has come with you). I said “I have come alone with my son”. He looked at me (arrogantly) and said, ”Bring your husband, and then only we can see him”. It should be noted that my son is halfway in the process of getting his ears cleared. I said,” My husband is at home with my older son and that’s why I came”. He suddenly shouted at me, ”Then bring your brother “, I said “I don’t have a brother”.
He again shouted at me “We cannot see him unless you bring a male person”. Feeling shocked at his attitude and taken back by his disrespectful behavior, I told him that I have not heard of a rule that in TVM casualty, a woman without male accompanying should not be given treatment and on what grounds he is refusing me the further treatment which is half way through (my son still lying on the treatment room table).
He suddenly called his Professor, presumably a woman, who also advised him to send back if there is no male accompanying. I asked him whether the doctors skill increase if a man accompanies? His rely,”We want somebody who is responsible”. Believe it or not, he is talking about responsibility to the mother of the child……To add on to that, he said this is not an emergency which can be seen in OPD tomorrow.
First of all, I was taken aback by his way of addressing me (using nee).Secondly, if a rule such that exists , what is the point in us talking about gender equity and accessible- affordable care to everyone in government sector? Remember, this is the story in Trivandrum (Capital city).With this behavior to me, I seriously fear for poor, helpless, husband-less women around. It is high time, these persons learn to have good attitude to women and patients especially approaching the odd hours.
At the end of the day,my son is sleeping next to me, with half of rubber still inside:( Feeling embarrassed and humiliated.
Please find attached the OP ticket received at TVMC casualty clearly mentioning the requirement of a male bystander.