Pronrawin Ongpisut was at her dying father’s side trying to get help when her third call to an emergency hotline went through only for the operator to respond with a mocking “beep, beep” and hang up on her.
Pronrawin, 18, is demanding authorities in Ratchaburi province take responsibility for whoever hung up on her Sunday call to the 1669 hotline in a bid to save her father Pisit Ongpisut. Though an ambulance did soon arrive from the nearby hospital to transport Pisit, he died there later the same day.
“I want to hear an apology from that man. If my father didn’t die, I wouldn’t complain and would let it go. But right now my father’s dead, are you satisfied? Your salary is from people’s tax money, and you’re supposed to serve the citizens, not joke around with someone’s life-and-death situation like this.”
Pronrawin said she first called and gave her address at 7:13am. Anxious that help wasn’t coming fast enough, she called a second time but it was not answered. Five minutes after she had placed the first call, she called again.
“My third call was at 7:18. When a man picked up, I cried and asked ‘Why did you take so long. The patient can’t handle this anymore’ because my house and the hospital are not far, and the ambulance should take only a few minutes,” Pronrawin wrote online.
That’s when he responded by emulating the tone of a line unable to be connected and terminated the call.
“The man responded ‘I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you’ before making the sound ‘Beep, Beep’ and hanging up,” she said.
“What I’m furious about is not the ambulance arriving late, but the male health worker who teased me while my father was dying,” Pronrawin said.
Pronrawin said she has filed complaints to the Ratchaburi Hospital and called for the man to come out and apologize to her and her father’s body.
Pichien Wuttisatirapinyo, director of Ratchaburi Hospital, said today that he and his team were looking for the hotline operator responsible.