Telangana

Phone-a-doctor helpline in Adilabad District Collectorate keeps ringing

It is as nondescript as a help-desk can be but the phone-a-doctor helpline set up in the District Collectorate is steadily gaining popularity. Doctors manning the desk - set up just three days ago - are answering about 50 calls everyday not only from this area but from Hyderabad, Warangal and Khammam and even some places in neighbouring Maharashtra.

The concept of people ‘consulting’ a doctor on phone and even getting prescription for minor ailments on phone is the brain child of Adilabad Collector A. Sridevasena who roped in the services of the local branch of the Indian Medical Association. “The idea is to keep people with minor ailments indoors in view of the lockdown,” the Collector said.

Common complaints

The help-desk operates for 12 hours every day between 8 am and 8 pm. It is manned by two qualified doctors and one official of the Panchayat Raj Department. Prescriptions are given on phone itself as most of the callers are complaining of cough and cold and sometimes even fever fearing it could be a COVID-19 infection.

“The callers want to know if running nose and cough means COVID-19 infection. We are prescribing antibiotics, anti-allergic medicines and cough syrup asking them to try for the next three days,” revealed Dr. M. Dattu who was on duty at the help desk on Wednesday.

Dispelling doubts

“Sandhya Rani, a caller from Warangal even called us back and thanked as she is feeling much better relying on our prescription. The most important thing is we are able to dispel the doubts of the callers about COVID-19,” he added.

The other important function of the help-desk is to disseminate all information related with prevention of COVID-19 spread to callers. “We are telling them about aspects like social distancing and the need for maintaining personal hygiene in order to restrict the spread,” disclosed Dr. D.S. Bhushan.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:21:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/phone-a-doctor-helpline-keeps-ringing/article31227041.ece

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