Too much noise pollution in polyclinics

Anyone who has been to a polyclinic would be familiar with the chime that goes off every so often.

During my visit, it sounded about every two seconds, adding to an already noisy environment during peak periods.

I assume the chime indicates that a new patient's call number has shown up on the display panel in the various waiting rooms.

No one is going to look for their number every two seconds; they will just glance at the nearest board every 10 seconds or so.

Also, attendants would often call out the names of patients who had probably missed their call numbers.

If this constant chiming serves no purpose, then it is just an unnecessary source of noise pollution to already distressed patients, particularly those with auditory issues.

It would be helpful if polyclinics could ensure that the chime is audible only in the waiting area to which it applies, so that patients will be more inclined to pay attention to it.

Alternatively, they could do away with the chime altogether and ask patients to check the board regularly for their call number.

Ben Gibran

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2016, with the headline 'Too much noise pollution in polyclinics'. Print Edition | Subscribe