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Plunket deserves recognition and support

12 April 2006

Plunket deserves recognition and support

In the row which has developed over funding for one of Plunket’s flagship services, PlunketLine, a key element is being overlooked; the impact on families.

The reason PlunketLine exists at all is because Plunket’s own staff kept taking their work home with them, in terms of after-hours phone calls from parents. Plunket responded to this need in typically practical and effective fashion, by inventing PlunketLine the 24-hour help line for families.

Ironic as it now seems, Plunket appears to have become a victim of its own success. PlunketLine now receives some funding from the Ministry of Health, but this funding has clearly proved inadequate for the demand.

If PlunketLine receive far more calls than they can handle, then the answer is obvious – give the service more support and give Plunket the recognition it deserves for providing a quality service directly to those who most need it.

It is disturbing that the Ministry of Health has apparently reacted to ‘statistics’ without understanding the nature of the need PlunketLine meets for one of the most vulnerable sectors of our society – young families.


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