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Dave Crampton's Big News: Plunket Line Hassles

Big News: Plunket Line Hassles

By Dave Crampton

Sometimes parents with a new baby like to ring plunket line. This causes a few problems lately as plunket line has pretty much been swallowed up by health line, except the health line people think that mothers are neurotic when they ring and ask for help. Ask my other half, that's what she`ll tell you.

It works like this. Say I didn't know about the politics of plunket line. Say I don’t know that 87 percent of calls were not dealt with, or that health line is now the new plunket line..

I`d look up plunket line in the phone book and ring 0800 - 933 922. I would get an ansaphone message saying "Kia Ora, all our nurses are taking other calls. If your query is an emergency , please hang up and ring 111 and ask for Ambulance, or try again later.

Try again later - and again later - and you get the same message. What say I ring 111 and the ambulance ends up being a taxi because "Ambulance" is busy,

How on earth could I get assistance if I didn’t trust the 111 service and wasn’t aware that the number for health line is 0800 611 116. It's not in the phone book. The very least the folks at plunket line could do is put the 0800 number for health line on the plunket line ansaphone message.

So I rang health line to have that arranged, given that plunket line would mot let me leave a message before it hung up on me. I was told that none of the health line managers were there. They`d all gone home as it was about 4.30pm when I rang. So I rang manager Peter Coombe's DDI and bingo! he answered the phone.

I explained the situation and he suggested I talk to the plunket line manager. Good idea, I thought, but I explained that I couldn’t even leave a message with plunket line, let alone have a real person to speak with. That was arranged. A plunket line nurse eventually got hold of me and explained that all the managers were busy as they were up in Auckland opening…. you guessed it, a plunket line.

I said " Don’t you mean opening health line, incorporating plunket line. " Yes. That’s right". I again asked if the plunket line's ansaphone would be amended with the heath line's ansaphone number and was told to write to the minister. "It’s a freepost address, the minister's name is …

I know, I know what the Health Minister's name is. But what would she do?

Why can't plunket line just change the message… Is it THAT hard?

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