The message to prohibit Punjab doctors from using mobile phone on duty has reached them on the very device they are asked to switch off.
State director of health services Dr Karanjit Singh on Saturday used the SMS (short messaging service) to communicate the order to the civil surgeons and ask them to forward it to all concerned: "Kindly, direct all (members of the) medical and paramedical staff not to use mobile phone during duty hours. Don't allow anybody to play games on computers or cell phones as well."
The civil surgeon again had to rely on the SMS to pass the message down that this mode of communication was a no-no from now. A civil surgeon, wishing not to be named, said that order was okay if it had restrained only the misuse of the medium. "Otherwise, mobile phone it is an integral part of any doctor's life, and doctors get an allowance for the facility every month," he said.
Health services director Dr Karanjit Singh said the decision was in the interest of patient care.
"Some doctors keep fiddling with their handsets and don't bother about the patients waiting outside," he said. When asked why he had to send the message on the SMS, he said it was official.
In an earlier strange order, Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani had wanted the images of Guru Nanak in all hospitals and dispensaries in the state. The health director on Monday had directed all civil surgeons to do the needful.