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News : Dial 104 Helpline for Counselling on Health in Tiruchi
July 24, 2014 -- The 104 medical helpline service offering medical advice and assistance to the public was launched in Tiruchirapalli.
An initiative of Tamil Nadu Health System Project, the service is being run by GVK-Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), which operates the "108" ambulance services in the State.
The 24-hour helpline would be manned by a team of doctors to offer medical assistance to callers, including immediate advice for simple ailments or direct them to the nearest and appropriate healthcare facility. In case of emergency situations, the calls would be referred to the 108 emergency response service for transporting patients to hospitals.
Complaints with respect to deficiencies in health care services can be lodged by dialling the helpline. Such calls would be referred to senior medical and district-level officers for immediate rectification.
Callers would be offered health-related counselling and guidance on matters such as nutrition, hygiene, family welfare, AIDS/HIV, and suicidal tendency by specialists. A psychologist would be at hand to provide counselling in necessary cases. Personal particulars of all callers would be registered by a registration office and each caller would be assigned a registration number.
Second-time callers could just mention their registration number and would not be required to give their full details again.
Medical professionals serving at remote locations would be offered updates through senior professionals. The service would be used for monitoring outbreak of epidemics, especially at times of disaster.
Launching the service here, District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan said the helpline would be a boon to the people in villages and remote areas as they could get medical advice over the telephone without having to travel long distance, saving them time and money.
It would help in early intervention as people in rural areas tend to postpone hospital visits. She urged medical officers in the district to serve the people without giving room for any complaint.
Ms. Muralidharan distributed 89 mobile phones with a "closed user group" numbers to 72 rural PHCs and senior medical officers of the district. The Collector would be part of the group and major complaints would be referred to her.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, July 25, 2014