Dechen Tshomo

Three months after the health ministry launched Grievance Redressal Hotline—1414—only 17 calls have been received.

The hotline was launched on the Patient Safety Day on September 17 to help the ministry improve the health system, provide better and timely services to the people.

Health officials said all corrective actions have been taken from the feedback.

Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said the feedback would be analysed every six months. “As a committee, we will sit together, discuss the feedback and come up with actionable decisions.”

Some of the complaints were genuine and suggestions were provided.

One of the patients said that when he visited hospital, the doctor was not there. He waited for sometime, after which he asked the administrative officials only to find that the doctor had gone some place else with an ambulance.

He acknowledged that the reason for the doctor not being in the hospital was genuine. However, he suggested that at such times it would be convenient if the patients could be informed howsoever possible.

Lyonpo said the patient wasn’t only complaining but was also providing suggestions which was important to improve the system and the service.

After that, Lyonpo said dzongkhag health officers were asked to communicate with the public or patients if the doctors were engaged in an emergency.

She added that if people came up with solutions, everyone would benefit in the end.

“Some are of the view that even if they complained, nothing would come of it. I encourage people continue providing feedback because whether the complaint is genuine or not, the system is there to take care of it,” Lyonpo said. “We want to listen to what people are thinking so that we can enhance, make changes, and improve ourselves.”

While health officials said they did not receive any fake calls till date, they received about 20 missed calls or had dialed wrong number. “Some called to ask if the call had reached a hotel and complained about telephone lines.”

“Maybe people are getting the redressal hotline 1414 mixed up with 114 which is for telephone-related complaints,” an official said.

The ministry will also explore other platforms like emails and social media for those who wish to share their grievances and feedbacks in writing.

Feedback boxes have also been installed at some of the health facilities with a dedicated counsellor.

People can call the toll-free hotline—1414—and express their grievances or give feedback. One can choose to remain anonymous.