Orissa’s health officials are now part of a closed users group (cug) facility that allows them to communicate over cellular phones free of cost. Over 18,000 employees, including the health secretary, are linked through the BSNL phone facility launched in March.
State health minister Prasanna Acharya said the facility would improve effective communication within the department and ensure better supervision and implementation of health programmes. Field health workers can now directly contact their seniors in case of emergencies. “Earlier, a health worker would think twice about spending money from her pocket to take advice for a delivery. She would not hesitate to call now,” said Premanand Senapaty, chief district medical officer of Sonepur. But health workers are not too happy. Chitrangada Samantray of Birmaharajpur block in Sonepur said the workers have sim cards but no handsets. Health officials said they will sort out the matter. The monthly expense on CUG facility would be Rs 52.57 lakh.
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