Round Pizza in a Square Box
Excerpt from Chapter 8 – The Good Hand of God:
My ten years as a hospital board member in Calcutta taught me a great deal beyond my business training. I remember clearly the day the hospital made headline news. The story revolved around an unusual incident that happened 24 hours earlier within the Casualty Ward, where one of their doctors was found with a fresh stab wound to his leg.
The next morning, the front page of the local newspaper wrote that the hospital had “denied admission to an AIDS patient.” The cover photo featured the very same doctor and his injured leg.
In the ensuing article, the doctor had told the Media that he was trying to admit an AIDS patient into the hospital when members of the hospital administration stabbed him with a knife in a violent effort to prevent the admission.
His accusation spread like wildfire around the city. When the hospital accreditation board caught wind of it, they were furious. The public likewise was appalled. “What kind of hospital treats people according to their prejudices?”
The hospital personnel were no less baffled and confused. Never before had the staff turned away people in need of care, no matter their status or condition. This was a charitable hospital and helped the very people that could not get care elsewhere. What the doctor had told the press simply did not make sense.
Interestingly enough, just weeks before the incident, the hospital had installed security cameras in the casualty ward. Tracking down the videotape from the day of the incident, hospital administrators were shocked by what it showed. Clearly the doctor had forgotten about the newly-installed cameras. Lying there upon an emergency room bed alone in the casualty ward, we watched as he removed a knife from the folds of his clothing, ensured that no one was looking, then thrust the knife halfway into his leg. Trying not to scream from the pain, he continued to lie there for some time before a media team mysteriously arrived to interview him.
When authorities called in the hospital’s administrative team and board for inquiry, we showed them the videotape. A play button later, with a few rewinds and pauses along the way, the case came to a quick conclusion. The hospital was exonerated of all accusations.
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