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MOH terminates PlunketLine funding

MOH terminates PlunketLine funding

Plunket Society Chief Executive Paul Baigent said that he had been advised by the MOH today that funding for PlunketLine would terminate on 30 June 2006.

After 18 months of operating PlunketLine as a subcontractor to McKesson Corporation, Plunket came to the conclusion that the services are incompatible. “People calling PlunketLine are seeking the specialist advice and guidance of an experienced, trained Plunket nurse - in contrast to general health advice from a registered nurse” said Mr Baigent.

Plunket approached the Ministry last year seeking separate funding for PlunketLine because the subcontract arrangements in place were not working.

Mr Baigent said the needs of families using PlunketLine and individuals calling Healthline are different. “When people call PlunketLine they expect to talk to a Plunket nurse and it is this quality of service to families in our community that Plunket is committed to providing”.

The Ministry agreed to separate the services, subject to the PlunketLine service being retendered. The result of that tender is that funding will no longer be available for PlunketLine once the current contract terminates on 30 June 2006.

Plunket’s Board is committed to PlunketLine’s continuation. PlunketLine broke new ground when it started in 1994. PlunketLine has proved it plays an essential part in the lives of New Zealand families.

“Plunket remains committed to providing support to those families throughout New Zealand who have come to rely on PlunketLine and our specialist tele-nurses.”

Plunket will be reaching out to the community and seeking to develop alternative sources of funding to continue providing this essential service.

Ends

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