News : SMC Fever Helpline Cold to Callers
Surat, India, Sept 18, 2015 -- The special helpline number for dengue, malaria and viral fever patients launched with much fanfare on the Independence Day by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has dismayed many because of its unresponsiveness.
When you dial 104 - the dedicated toll free number for fever -the operator will simply take down your name, address and information on disease. The operator will then inform you that the sanitary inspector (SI) and the health officer will be visiting the given address. The health officer's visit may or may not happen.
TOI rang the toll free number on September 16 at about 11 am. The name of the person suffering from fever, his address and contact number was given to the operator.The operator said a SMC team comprising the health officer will be visiting the patient to administer the necessary treatment. However, so far no one has turned up from the municipal corporation's Athwa zone at the address.
The health department had claimed that whoever registers with the helpline number will be given instant help but the fact is in most of the cases the help never arrives. In the last one month, the helpline has received 380 calls. Majority of the calls were from Varachha, Katargam, Puna and Sarthana areas of the city. Around 44 suspected cases of dengue were reported from the city on Friday . As of now, there are 722 suspected cases of dengue and the number of positive cases is 81 in the city.
Deputy commissioner (health and hospital) Dr Hemant Desai said, "It is a matter of grave concern to us that nobody has attended the call in the last two days. I have ordered an inquiry into this and those responsible will be pulled up for their negligence."
He said, "Surat is the first city in the state to have a toll free health helpline number.We had launched the helpline after there was a sudden flare up in dengue, malaria and viral fever cases in the city in August."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Surat Municipal Corporation:
Surat Municipal Corporation is the local civic body responsible for the administration of Surat, Gujarat. The Surat Municipal Corporation was established on 2 October 1966.
Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2015