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Toll-free number to aid patients register complaints

Kolkata: In a bid to fix the accountability of doctors and health workers, the state Health department is going to introduce a toll-free number where patients can register their complaints by dialling the number.
According to a senior official of the state Health department, the toll-free number 104 would be made operational within a couple of days, which will remain available round the clock.
Patients having complaints regarding treatment in any of the state-run hospitals can register their complaints by dialling the number. It has been developed as a part of Public Grievance Monitoring System (PGMS).
The decision was taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who wanted to fix the accountability of doctors, nursing and other staff members in the hospital, so that quality treatment can be delivered to the patients at the state-run hospitals even in the far-off districts.
She also wanted to make the grievance redressal mechanism of patients more effective, to ensure better health services to patients visiting the district, sub-divisional hospitals and health centres.
It may be mentioned that Banerjee had taken up a host of projects to revamp health infrastructure in the state-run hospitals.
A great deal of work has been done to ensure health care facilities for newborns and children. A Mother and Child Hub has come up at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. The state Health department often receives complaints that some doctors
in the government establishments are not
serious enough.
According to sources, if one calls up the toll-free number and lodges a complaint, it would get registered in the computer, which will maintain data. They will later be sent to the respective departments of the Swasthya Bhavan, depending on the nature of the grievance.
A senior official of the department said that the Health department will start a probe within 48 hours of the complaint. Action will be taken against the accused who will be found guilty.
To ensure better healthcare facilities to the patients at the government hospitals, the state government has already started the grievance redressal mechanism following the instruction of the Chief Minister.
One of the main objectives of the scheme was to minimise the incidents of transfer of patients from one government hospital to the other, both in the city and the districts.
There were many instances in which the patients had fallen victims of negligence in the district hospitals.
The patients could not raise the matter with the Health department officials as the patients redressal mechanism was functional earlier.

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