Airport officials inspect doctors' phones to find 'mole'

Jan 16, 2014, 11:37 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

After MiD DAY's report on how a doctor had been delayed in attending to a patient due to the compulsory loaders' shoes, seniors inspected each person's messages; later, they revoked the rule and allowed medical staff to wear normal shoes

Following MiD DAY’s report how an airport doctor got delayed in attending to a patient at the airport, owing to the strict security checks (‘Airport doctors want new shoes rule to get the boot’, January 13), the airport authorities have scrapped the rule which made it mandatory for all on-duty doctors to wear loaders’ shoes. However, the decision was taken only after all doctors’ phones were checked to see who had leaked the story to the media.

MiD DAY’s report on Jan 13
MiD DAY’s report on Jan 13

On Tuesday, officials called for an emergency meeting and asked all medical staff, on-duty and otherwise, to attend it. According to sources, the officials then asked each one present in the room to surrender their phones. The officials went through each person’s phone list and also inspected their WhatsApp messages to determine who had spoken to the media. In fact, MiD DAY also received a call asking who had provided the paper with the facts of the incident.

“It was very humiliating when everyone in the room was asked to hand over their phones and inspected,” said a doctor. MiD DAY even spoke to Sanjay Kadam, secretary of the Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, who said, “This behaviour is unacceptable. We will approach the head of the medical services and see to it that doctors don’t have to face such a situation in the future. If the shoes were creating trouble and not allowing doctors to attend to emergency calls in time, they should be scrapped so that no innocent person suffers.”

It was only later in the evening that MiD DAY was informed that the rule of wearing loaders’ shoes compulsory was given the boot. “The loaders’ shoes that were made compulsory for doctors have been debarred, which means the doctors can now wear their normal shoes,” confirmed an official spokesperson from Mumbai International Airport Private Limited. But, doctors said that they were yet to receive any formal announcement on the same.

The incident
On January 11, Dr Ajay Jadhav, the on-duty doctor had got an emergency call around 6 am, after which he rushed to the air side. But, when he reached a security check counter, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guards stopped him and asked him to remove the shoes he was wearing. According to protocol, a doctor should reach the patient within six minutes, but the doctor was delayed because he had worn the loaders’ shoes, which he then had to remove. Fortunately, the patient did not suffer too much due to the delay.

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