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Times of India
24 April 2010
By Dilip Patel

Dial 104 for Not-So-Urgent Medical Needs
The state government is planning to introduce a health service similar to 108. The new 104 telephone line however, will provide information on health and medical facilities available for various diseases and health problems that do not constitute an emergency. The caller can get information on doctors and availability of homoeopathy, ayurvedic and allopathy treatments.

An in–principle decision has been taken by the health department to start the 104 service in view of the plethora of calls the 108 EMRI control room receives for non–emergency health services.

Health department deputy director Dr Sunil Avashia said, “The process to invite tenders has been initiated. Opinions have been sought from service providers and vendors.”

Information on prohibition, drug addiction, family welfare, HIV, vaccines, women and child nutrition too will be facilitated. Dr Avashia said the state government has written to the Centre for permission to use the 104 line for the health service, like in Andhra Pradesh. The southern state too has been using the number to provide information on health–related non–emergency services.

Not a Toll–Free Number
Though A final decision has not been taken, 104 may not be a toll–free line as the health department is considering a revenue model for the service. It is yet to decide whether to charge the caller or the medical practitioner for the service. The line will provide information on vaccines, doctors and treatments.

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