[AI] an article fron mumbai mirror aboute medical transcription.

Subramani L lsubramani at deccanherald.co.in
Tue Jul 24 08:19:00 EDT 2007


I somehow dislike the tone of this article. It only seem to advertise
the writer's ignorance than anything else. I don't know, for heaven's
sake, when these writers would do their researches properly before
putting the pen to paper. If this level of ignorance continue, our
mainstream media would still write about telephone operators among blind
people and their "remarkable" abilities to perform a job 50 years from
now. I request the NGO's to first understand how far the journalist
knows about the blind before concenting for interviews. 

Subramani 



-----Original Message-----
From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in
[mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of Suhas
Karnik
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 5:00 PM
To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
Subject: [AI] an article fron mumbai mirror aboute medical
transcription.

Ref: Mumbai Mirror, July 24, 2007

A vision of hope

The country's booming outsourcing industry brings good news to the blind
Manoj R. Nair

There are new job options for the blind now, apart from the usual work
as 
telephone operators and railway announcers

When Darjeeling native Uma Phago moved to Mumbai last year to fulfil her

dream of being financially independent, the blind 23-year-old hoped to
get a 
job at least as a telephone operator.

So Phago's present job transcribing medical records for a BPO providing 
health care services is remarkable, especially because when she came to 
Mumbai, she had not heard of medical transcription. At her seat in the 
Godrej Industries Complex in Vikhroli, Phago listens to medical records 
dictated by doctors in major American hospitals. She converts details of

diagnosis and physicals recorded in dictaphones to text form so that 
hospitals there can meet statutory rules requiring them to keep detailed

medical records of patients. "When I was a child, my parents would tell
me 
not to fight with my brothers because I would be dependent on them for
life. 
This job gives me a sense of independence that was beyond my dreams,"
says 
Phago, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in arts from SNDT
University.

For people like Phago, India's booming outsourcing industry spells good 
news. A few months back, Tata Indicom inaugurated a call centre entirely

serviced by blind employees to sell their telecom products. The company 
where Phago works, CBay Remote Services Limited employs around 400
people in 
India, including 100 trainees at various centres. At its Mumbai
facilities, 
10 employees, including four trainees, are blind.

According to Pallavi Kadam, deputy director, National Association for
the 
Blind (NAB) which provides vocational training and recruitmentTimes
Ascent: 
Potential beyond boundaries
http://www.timesascent.in/ services to the blind, call centres offer
hope of 
creating mass employment for the blind. "For the first time, there are
new 
job options for them, apart from the usual work as telephone operators
and 
railway announcers."

Phago's colleague Naeem Solkar learnt English stenography and basic
computer 
programming after obtaining a degree in arts. "But no company was
willing to 
employ me. Medical transcription is a great job opportunity for us," he 
says.

Another worker, Akram Khan, was unemployed for a long time though he had
a 
degree in economics and was trained to be a telephone operator.
"Government 
jobs that once held promise for the blind are now few," he says. Hari 
Bhalerao, who works as a telephone operator and clerk at a public sector

bank, says that at one time, the only jobs for blind people were as
packers 
and cane chair-makers. "Later, we were employed as telephone operators.
Few 
new job opportunities emerged after that. Call centres offer new hope
for 
the unemployed blind," says Bhalerao.

Shaival Trivedi, business head of CBay RSL, says the idea of employing
blind 
workers came after a casual enquiry from NAB which had trained the first

blind transcriptors in India four years back. "At that time, we were 
starting to train a new batch of recruits. We decided to give the NAB 
candidates a chance," says Trivedi.

When the new recruits took their seats on the work floor, their presence

initially bewildered the other workers and trainers. "It was a shock
when we 
were informed that visually impaired workers were joining us. We have 
sighted people who struggle with the requirements of the job," says 
Raghunathan, a trainer.

But the misgivings about the new workers were proved unwarranted when
they 
met and even crossed daily targets. Depending on the size of the medical

records of each patient, each operator is expected to transcribe between
15 
and 20 files a day. The transcriptors are expected to convert one minute
of 
voice based information into text in seven minutes. The trainers claim
the 
new workers have rarely missed the target. "They have great listening
and 
comprehension skills and that is what is required," says Trivedi.

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