Airport doctors want new shoes rule to get the boot

Jan 13, 2014, 11:13 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

After a doctor wearing the compulsory loaders' footwear was delayed from attending to a patient due to frisking, doctors want the rule scrapped; rules do not allow loaders inside without thorough security check

An airport doctor landed in a strange situation after he followed his seniors’ instructions. He was delayed from entering the interiors of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), even though he was the on-call doctor for a medical emergency.

CISF guards didn’t allow the on-duty doctor inside, since he was wearing a loader’s shoes
CISF guards didn’t allow the on-duty doctor inside, since he was wearing a loader’s shoes

From the day of the inauguration of the brand new Terminal 2 on Friday, airport authorities had asked doctors to compulsorily wear shoes usually worn by loaders at the airport. On Saturday morning, Ajay Jadhav got a medical emergency call from the airside around 6 am. He rushed towards the spot to attend to the patient.

However, he was stopped at the security check by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guards because he was wearing loader’s footwear. For the guards, rules do not allow loaders inside without a security check. “The CISF guards do not allow loaders inside without a thorough security check. Hence, even after telling them that the doctor was rushing for an emergency, they did not listen. The doctor even explained that if he reached the spot late, and if something traumatic occurred, the guards would be termed responsible. That too didn’t work,” said a doctor.

The doctor was made to undergo a security check a body search, an X-ray scan et al which took around 10 minutes. However, thankfully, the medical emergency wasn’t a major one and no harm was caused. “According to the protocol in any medical emergency, the doctor on duty should be there in six minutes. Hence, we immediately rush to the location,” said a doctor requesting anonymity. While conceding that their uniform did help them in some ways people in queues gave them the right of way doctors have approached their head of medical services to get the shoe rule changed.

“Ultimately, we doctors are blamed if there is any delay in attending to the case. If such trivial things are made compulsory for us, it will affect the quality of work. Hence, we have requested our head to either change the shoes or allow us to wear our daily ones,” said the doctor.

“We cannot blame the CISF guards, as they go by the rule book. The vendors decide the uniform and changes related to them. Fortunately, the call received by the doctor wasn’t serious. But, we will make sure that the shoes are changed soon, in order to avoid such delays for the on-duty medical doctor,” said the official spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Pvt Limited (MIAL). When contacted to comment on the issue, the CISF commandant told this reporter, “I will be able to speak to you when I’m in office.”

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