KARACHI: When the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital announced listings for 300 job vacancies, the administration had little idea how much interest it would garner, or even how chaotic the whole process would turn out to be.
Come Sunday, thousands of aspirants [according to the hospital's own estimates, there were nearly 10,000] turned up at the hospital's administration block for the walk-in interviews. That was thousands more than they had anticipated. In the face of the large crowds, jostling and shoving each other to get to the head of the line, chaos ensued and the hapless management could only watch on as the neatly-dressed applicants became increasingly agitated.
Police personnel present at the site baton charged the applicants to get them in line. That too failed to help the situation much and the management had to ultimately call for more Rangers and police personnel to mitigate the situation.
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According to the hospital management, the interviews were to be conducted for jobs against 300 vacant posts of grade 1 to 5. These included posts of the CT Scan technician, lady health visitors, receptionists, laser technicians, X-Ray technicians, OT technicians, computer operators, data entry operators, ward store keepers, security guards, cashiers, gardeners and chefs, among others.
For the walk-in interviews on Sunday, separate counters had been set up for men and women, but the arrangements were perturbed due to the large number of aspirants.
The police baton charged men who tried to enter the hospital through the women's entrance. The protective glass of the men's counter also broke due to the pushing and shoving that ensued following the over-crowding. Several candidates climbed onto the roofs of the counters to protest the lack of proper arrangements.
For their part, applicants complained of a lack of organisation on the part of the hospital's management. Candidates were required to fill an online form before they came in for the interview. They were then asked to fill in another form at the venue. Some candidates also accused staff of asking for bribes to be allowed through the selection process. The worst placed were physically disabled candidates, for whom there were no arrangements.
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The Civil hospital's Dr Sabir Memon told the media that around 4,000 candidates had registered for the interviews, but the crowd that had gathered at the hospital's premises on Sunday had turned out to be much higher than anticipated.
When pressed, Dr Memon did admit that there were flaws in the arrangements made by the hospital administration, but claimed that the situation had only turned this dire due to the large crowd.