Kerala’s Kozhikode district, through a project named ‘Dr SMS’ has pioneered emergency healthcare relief via SMS. Under a government project a system has been put in place which allows citizens to get information on the nearest healthcare facility anytime of the day by sending an SMS.
Anyone seeking medical attention anywhere in the district has to SMS a prescribed format including his pin code to 9446460600(the same number which returns information on government files in the district collectorate); and within seconds a message containing the nearest hospital’s whereabouts returns. The system gives pointers to blood banks, diagnostic centres, private hospitals, specialty centres, facilities for surgery and ventilators and the list of specialist doctors in the district. This system abstracts information from a database prepared by the government machinery under the district medical officer.
The scheme, inaugurated in Kozhikode by chief minister VS Achuthanandan recently, will be extended to the entire state.The system is supported by the National Informatics Centre and the state information technology department.
This unique system has been nominated for the national e-governance award 2008-09 in the health sector.