What if you fall sick while on a tour and don’t know where to get medical assistance from? Don’t worry. For, the State will soon have a health helpline service number - 104.
The 24-hour service, which will be under the control of the Public Health Department and operated by GVK EMRI that runs the 108 ambulance service, will have various services including information on the nearest government hospitals, first-aid and counselling.
However, unlike 108, which is a toll-free ambulance service, 104 is a paid helpline number. The helpline is already on a pilot run for the past one month and the call centre works from 8 am to 8 pm for now. An official with the Health Department said that the helpline would be manned by a team of staff trained in soft skills and qualified medical practitioners and nurses.
“If the operator feels that the caller requires counselling for depression, suicidal tendency or even family issue, the call would be transferred to a qualified counsellor,” an official added.
“If a person complains of diarrhoea, we will suggest ORS, which is a basic medicine. If a person is new to town and does not know which hospital to approach, he can call this service. Prescriptions will not be given,” the official elaborated.
The service will offer information only on government hospitals and will also be open to feedback on the services rendered. 104 too will have the facility to transfer the call to 108 ambulance service if the caller is required to be shifted to a hospital.