With everything around us evolving for good, the health sector in India too needed evolution to offer
ease to people. Introduction of emergency numbers, advance ambulances and high tech medical equipment already contributed to the much-needed evolution. However, the conceptualization and implementation of 104 Health Helpline Number took health sector reforms to the next level. This service can be considered as revolutionary for the health sector of our country, albeit it is not new to the world as many of the developed nations already offer it. Now you might question, why it can be considered as revolutionary? Well, that’s because it can help people save their life or avoid medical emergencies simply by a free medical consultation from a qualified doctor over a call. Unlike emergencies where the victim needs a cure and intensive care, medical advice on dialling 104 can help the caller prevent himself/herself from medical emergencies well in advance with proper medical assistance. And we all know, “Prevention is better than Cure!”
First initiated by the Government of Karnataka in our country with the name ‘Arogyavani’, 104 Health
Helpline service was quickly adopted by the other states of India. Thanks to its success that even
included saving lives of many from committing suicide by the counselling of consultants over the call. In Punjab alone, 1.4 lakh calls were made on the 104 helpline number in its first year. These calls were not only for medical advice but also for details about the government schemes and institutes, complaints of medical negligence, consultation for the drugs or depression, blood arrangements to save lives, etc. If you analyze these calls, you will find out that 47,476 people were benefitted from it as these calls were relevant to 104 helpline service. Out of these 47,476 calls, 2,750 calls were to lodge complaints, 20,605 were for medical advice, 23,899 were to know about the government schemes or institutions and 206 calls were for drugs, depression and anxiety consultation. In addition to it, 104 helpline consultants also made 87,143 calls to the expected mothers for safe delivery & vaccination information in the first year alone. Besides Punjab, 104 helpline service has done equally good in the other states.
Now that we have understood its importance and benefits, it becomes our responsibility to make optimum use of the service and educate others about the spectrum of queries available for redressal under the service. Some of the few services you can avail through the 24×7 helpline number are:
- Provides information about the government schemes, institutions and blood banks
- Handles grievances related to patient healthcare, medical equipment at government hospitals or other government health centres, doctors availability and capabilities, etc.
- Offers medical counselling on family planning, combatting stigmatized diseases, rehabilitation from drugs or alcohol addiction, surviving depression or anxiety or suicidal tendencies, etc.
- Provides suggestive medication with a prescription via SMS, first aid advice and health alerts
Services above very well explain us the scope of 104 Health Helpline and compel us to take advantage of it whenever required. It is a great option for those looking for second medical opinion for their treatments, needs healthcare benefits from government or simply what to consult qualified as well as a trained medical team of doctors for their health. All thanks to our government authorities, doctors organisations like Ziqitza Healthcare and everyone associated with 104 helpline number for making such healthcare services accessible to the public.