Simple Rules Bhutanese Break Every Day

More often than not we see people smoking in a room where there is ‘No Smoking’ written in bold, a car parked right on the ‘No Parking’ space, people talking aloud in the area where it’s clearly written ‘Silence Please’, pile of rubbish around the sign that reads ‘Do Not Litter’ and worst of all there is no ‘Do Not Spit’ place without thick bloody read doma spit. Can’t we read these simple words? Forgive the people who can’t read, but what about the literate folks who are often the ones breaking these simple rules.

During my visit in JDWNRH I have been an observer of many conflicts between patient’s attendants and security guards, patient’s attendants and nurses, and visitors and security guards. In all these fights I saw how our people find themselves in the right after breaking numerous hospital norms.

First they come when it›s not visiting hour, and when security guards stop them they pick up fights. Inside ‹one patient one attendant› rule is broken, and when nurses remind them they find the nurse bitchy. When the patient is in agony people crowd around and won›t let nurses do their jobs. The nurses grow furious and shouts at them to leave some space for air, and then these people counter.

After visiting hours are over, no visitors leave, not until the security gaurds come around thrice to chase them off. It›s not a happy ending either. There is a big dining room in the hospital and people eat and throw their waste in the space where clothes are meant to be dried.Wash basins are filled with food waste, when there is a separate dustbin to dispose leftover food.I don›t see a space for problem if we could only follow the simple rules written all over in Dzongkha and English both.

Have I been perfect? No, I arrived late but I greeted the guards with apology and if they asked me to wait I would wait. My visitors left late too and they were shouted at by the guards but I have gone close to them and explained and apologized. But I have spent the rest of time entertaining the sick, cleaning the toilet, and at one time I had appointed myself to investigate a person who was smoking in the ward toilet. I failed to find him but nurses had flashed the message that if he is caught both the smoker and his patient will be kicked out of the hospital.

These people working at in hospital at strange hours taking care of our people have their own family sleeping without them at home, and moreover they get their hands in our waste and blood, which our own people won›t do. Some of our folks won›t even visit us at the hospital because they believe in ‹Dhrip’(bad energy that comes with birthing and dying), and I say nurse and doctors would have died of that then. Hospitals are our gateway to the world and exit from the world and these people are the ones who help us at these critical hours.

I wish to send my deepest gratitude to the people working in Thimphu hospital and hospitals across the country for doing the dirty job for us and still tolerating our unending demands. I also pay respect to their frustrations,(after all there is a human inside those angels as well) which many great nurses have brought under control. I also hope that those unreasonable, biased and arrogant people also change themselves so that one day everybody looks at a hospital as a place of worship.

 

The writer also known as Passu is a teacher at Bajothang Higher Secondary School

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