Citizens and expats share their stories of Dr. Rajendran Nair, a General Surgeon in Oman who recently passed away following a battle with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Oman’s medical landscape will not be the same after the passing of Dr. Rajendran Nair – the ‘Common man’s doctor’.”
These words come from an emotional Joslyn Jose, who is an Indian expat living in Ruwi, as she describes the man who had taken care of her family for the three decades she has lived here.
The effect Dr. Rajendran Nair – or ‘Dr. Nair’ as he was fondly called – has had on communities in Oman go beyond the usual emotions a patient shares with their doctors. Dr. Nair, as Joslyn put it, was a man sent to take care of people in Oman who were in the utmost need.
He had served the people of Oman for nearly 40 years when the tragic news broke waves: the 76-year-old General Surgeon from the Hani Clinic in Ruwi passed away at the Royal Hospital on Friday April 17, 2020, following complications arising from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Dr. Nair became one among eight people (at the time of publishing on April 21) who died after contracting the illness in the Sultanate.
With a patient list that broke boundaries between citizens and expats, the doctor had a history of treating patients diligently, efficiently, and above all, at reasonable costs.
“It didn’t matter if you were Omani, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan or someone from any nationality. You would always be given the same treatment and at the same cost,” Joslyn, an accountant with a local company, adds in her statement to Y.
Many patients who we reached out to reveal that the doctor charged them reasonably for treatments.
Beginning his practice in a humble manner, Sameer al Balushi, a 27-year-old Omani engineer, remembers Dr. Nair from his early days in his clinic in the Ruwi High Street.
Narrating his experience with the doctor, he says: “The first doctor I ever remember visiting was Dr. Nair. It was amazing, the way he took care of me as a child; he was an angel throughout. I had visited him a few years back, and I just wish I receive one last chance to say goodbye to him.
“He always made me feel comfortable and made sure that I received the best treatment, even if the clinic was crowded.”
And crowded it was, many of his early patients reveal.
Manish, a 26-year-old Indian expat born in Oman tells us: “I remember his clinic in the Ruwi high Street near the old Happy Center. The clinic was actually so small that only five or six people could sit in the waiting room, and maybe two or three people could be in the nurse’s station.
“Many children in Oman, like me – our journeys as healthy kids started with Dr. Nair. I don’t know how, but he always seemed to know how to keep a smile on his face; even later into the evening close to closing time.
“Most of my friends who went to the Indian School Muscat too were his patients,” he adds.
The news of his passing first reached Y when one reader, George Joseph, revealed how he was initially hospitalised in Al Nahda Hospital and then transferred to the Royal Hospital for treatment after he contracted the virus.
“It brings tears to my eyes,” George says, as a recollects his childhood memories visiting Dr. Nair’s practice in Ruwi.
“I had just seen him in January when I took my mother there for a checkup. If anyone wants to know who the doctor was to different communities in Oman, just look at the comments in the obituary sections on Facebook.
“He was a true hero. People, including me, have health insurance in Oman that grants us free access to hospitals for treatment. But, even so, I always went to Dr. Nair first, because he just knew me and my medical conditions better than most others doctors.
“I’ve personally struggled with a medical condition, and the doctor knew that some medicines would cause an allergic reaction in my body. He would always prescribe me my medicines accordingly, and I knew that things would be alright because Dr. Nair said so.
“Now that he is gone, it’s not just me, but many others will feel the void. May Dr. Nair – the man that many now call the ‘common man’s doctor’ – rest in peace.”