Bengaluru: The troubled Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers in the State have finally got some relief. ‘104’ or Arogya Vani, the popular health helpline service launched by the State Government, will now have a dedicated line to address grievances of these workers in the next two months.
At a recent event held in the city, Health Minister, U.T Khadar announced the 104 initiative for ASHA workers. This step has been taken following the innumerable problems being faced by the ASHA workers across the State. Dr Suresh K. Mohammed, NRHM, Mission Director, said “We have been getting a lot of complaints from ASHA workers across the State.
They have no one to go to with their grievances. Taking cognizance of the situation, we are in the process of starting a dedicated line in our 104 health helpline in two months’ time,” he said, adding, “Once the line is set up, ASHA workers can dial 104 from any part of the State and lodge their grievances. Our call centre people will forward the complaint to designated health officers in that particular area, following which our district and taluk health officers will look into the issue immediately.”
With the objective of assisting people in rural or remote areas, who face little access to qualified doctors and information on health problems, the 104 Arogya Vani services has been functional in Karnataka since June 30.
According to a senior health official from the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department, the 104 helpline has been getting a very good response and the centre receives over 300 calls each day.
The 104 helpline centre is currently manned by doctors who provide consultation for minor ailments and follow it up with an SMS prescription. For serious ailments, the center can fix up an appointment with specialists.
The helpline also caters to patients suffering from mental ailments and guides them to doctors who provide counselling services. This apart, information regarding nearest government hospitals, blood banks and medical stores are also provided.