I had a pdf file containing the list of all the Government hospitals in Kerala with me. Nisanth had a map of Kerala with him. Anoop had managed to get a list of PHCs in Kannur district, from the DMO Office. Because we knew that it was practically impossible to get posted in our home district, Kozhikode. I had taken my ‘playbook’ tablet with me. We were in the ‘Janshathabdi’ express bound to Trivandrum, that too two days prior to the day of counseling. The other passengers were all glaring at the three of us while we were busy making notes, firing funny stuff about the ridiculously named places.
The hospitals as usual are named after the place where they are located. We looked up the name of the places which we were not sure of and then checked on the map as to whether they were accessible by train/road. It was kind of funny memorizing the names of places. After making a list of almost three districts around Kozhikode, we decided to leave the rest to our luck.
This article is a continuation of How I landed in Government Health Service of India. I recommend you to read that article first before going into this one.
The next day we made a visit to the apex office of the Kerala Health service, the office of the Director of Health Service (DHS). We were hopeful because the DHS official website had published a list of newly created ‘Assistant Surgens’ posts in various districts which included Kozhikode too. Our minds were fixed on those 22 posts in Kozhikode. We enquired about those posts and were practically disappointed. We were told that the finance department had not approved of those newly created posts. With broken hearts and shattered dreams we went for a movie that night.
The next day it was the counselling day, the D day. As expected they put a list of hospitals in various distrcts on the notice board in front of the DHS office where we were seated. Three main districts in the state were neatly omitted. All the vacancies were in Kasargod, Kannur, Idukki, Palakkad and Alappuzha districts. I was 29th on the list. I went in and took PHC Muttam in Kannur.
Nisanth got Kotiyoor PHC. Anoop had to satisfy with CHC Keezhpally. Out of us three only NIsanth at that time had to take charge of the PHC. By charge I mean, to be the head of the hospital, ie to be the Medical Officer. There were other lady doctors crying their eyes out with babies because they were from Trivandrum and had to take charge of hospitals in Kasargod, which were in fact the south and north border of the state. The DHS and the other officers present at the counselling had no sympathy for them.
Only my place was the most easily accessible by train/road. So I was kind of happy. There was already a Medical Officer (MO) in my hospital and so the burden of charge was not on my head. We were to join within two days time. So after two days of the counseling I went to Muttam near Payangadi, Kannur to join as the Assistant Surgeon.
I can still remember the Counselling Day. I must say, I was really fortunate that day because not everyone will get a place as good as my hospital to work initially. Getting a first posting at my native place was not possible because that is the way how it has been for a very long time for the doctors of Kozhikode, Our city being the most developed in the north of the State, there was a massive demand for the post of Assistant Surgeons. As a result of this demand, no seats were even available to choose in Kozhikode on day of Counselling. Kannur, Wynad and Malappuram were the only other places close to my hometown,
At the end of the day, I wished my parents were from some other place rather than Kozhikode. In that way, I could have got placed at my hometown itself the very first time. I’ve heard that it will take 3 years service at the one station before getting approved for transfer to any other place. So, Kannur will be my new home for the next 3 years, I reckon!
The story continues here: First visit to the District Medical Officer, Kannur ,
and this is how I got charge of two hospitals : One shot, Two Hospitals. Don’t forget to hit the like button below if you like my articles.