Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Calling Spanish Town Hospital - quicker by foot

Published:Monday | August 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I have just returned from driving to Spanish Town Hospital because I was unable to contact a senior colleague there by phone. The hospital has 10 lines listed and I started phoning at 9 a.m. on the previous day.

I dialled all the numbers, receiving the message: "I'm sorry, but the person you have called is not available," interspersed with several messages that "the call cannot be completed as dialled" or "we're sorry, but the number you have dialled is not assigned".

I then called the Ministry of Health, which gave me one of the numbers I had be trying and they agreed that they could not get through. After 28 attempts, I wondered whether there was a problem with my phone, so I made further attempts through four landlines and a mobile.

On attempt 53 at 3:30 p.m., the switchboard at Spanish Town Hospital finally answered, but the operator was unable to connect me with the senior colleague because his phone was out of order, so I received the number of his secretary, which rang without answer.

In the end, driving to Spanish Town was much quicker, and I am only glad that I did not require urgent medical attention.

GRAHAM R. SERJEANT

Professor

grserjeant@gmail.com