The Punjab health department would soon start a 24X7 health call centre to give free medical consultation to patients over telephone, health and family welfare minister Surjit Kumar Jyani on Friday said.
Talking to media persons here after inauguration of an ultra-modern nursing school and hostel at the civil hospital, the minister said patients would get immediate medical help through the health call centre by dialling 104.
Health experts will give medical advice to patients after getting various details about their illness and the symptoms. The doctors will also suggest the patients about medical check-ups and medicines required immediately, he added.
Replying to a question, he said the process for setting up the call centre has already been started. The government has invited tenders and the health call centre will soon be made a reality in Punjab.
The health minister also warned of a strict action against doctors who would not prescribe generic medicines to patients. The state government has divided the state into 8 zones to chalk out a special campaign to promote the practice of generic medicines, he said.
"First, we will start an awareness campaign among doctors to prescribe generic medicines. If doctors will not follow the directions, strict action will be taken against them".
He directed doctors to ensure better health services at government hospitals and also provide the selected free medicines to patients.
When asked about the increasing trend of private practice by doctors of government hospitals, he said in order to deal with this issue the state government has constituted a 10-member committee headed by chief parliamentary secretary Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu. "I am hopeful that the committee will soon find out ways to tackle this problem", he added.
The health minister, accompanied by Rajya Sabha MP and SAD general secretary Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, also visited the police line and directed the Sangrur civil surgeon to prepare a blue print for construction of a separate ward for prisoners in the civil hospital.
On being asked about the shortage of doctors and para-medical staff in civil hospitals in the state, he said that the state government is taking the issue seriously and recruitment of the doctors will be completed soon.