In a letter to the medical director of the hospital, the nursing superintendent said that the circular was issued in "a positive sense and there was no bad intention against Malayalam-speaking staff".
"In fact, the circular was misinterpreted and I didn't even get a chance to explain the same," he said.
He said he had acted on the basis of complaints received from patients on 31 May, 1 June and 2 June.
"The gist of the complaint was that most of the staff communicates in regional language due to which other staff members, as well as attendants of the patients, feel helpless. It was requested to sort out the matte. Complainant clearly mentioned the Malayalam language," the letter read.
He said such complaints had come to him earlier too about some staff members using their regional language.
According to the official, the patients would assume the language of communication was changed only to hide the fact that they had some serious condition.
Hence, the circular was issued to “avoid any confusion due to language barrier", the nursing superintendent said.
"Even then, if feelings of any staff were hurt, I regret and offer an apology for the same," he said.
The hospital had on Sunday withdrawn the circular, which asked the nursing staff to converse only in Hindi and English, saying it was issued “without any instruction or knowledge of the hospital administration and the Delhi government".
On Monday, the Delhi Health Department had issued a memo to Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education & Research (GIPMER) in connection with the controversial circular.
News agency PTI quoted a source saying that the health department had asked the hospital to "explain why such an order was issued".
An official of the GB Pant nurses' association said there are around 850 nurses working at the hospital and of them, around 400 are Malayali.
With inputs from agencies.
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