Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Plunket Seeks Meeting With PM On Plunket Line

BIG NEWS with Dave Crampton

Plunket Seeks Urgent Meeting With Prime Minister Over Plunket Line

Plunket line, as we know it, will be history come 30 June. The Government announced that McKesson New Zealand has won the contract for the service.

Plunket bosses are so mad that they have announced that they are seeking an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Helen Clark, and a letter requesting a meeting is already on its way. Plunket officials want to ask whether it is the Governments intention to undermine Plunket.

Labour campaigned in 1999 that it would fund it the service through Plunket. Helen Clark and Annette King launched a petition to fully fund a 24-hour help line through Plunket. They pledged that once in office they would ensure Plunket line never closed due to lack of funding.

Here's what Prime Minister had to say while in opposition.

"We will move to fund the Plunket line for 24 hour coverage," - Helen Clark (November 1999) Speech to Wellington Campaign Rally.

"The reasons why the Government and its many health bureaucracies won’t fund Plunketline go beyond mere pennypinching," - Helen Clark (March 1995) Speech to Royal NZ Plunket Society’s 52nd National Conference.

"I want to make a special plea for government funding of Plunket line. It was Labour’s policy to fund it because we have been very impressed by the service. With more funding to operate more lines with more nurses, it could have been even better." Helen Clark (April 1997) Speech to Royal New Zealand Plunket Society.

Plunket President Kaye Crowther said, "The Government is placing key parts of the care of our children in the hands of an off-shore multi-national who the Ministry of Health has acknowledged has little or no experience in well child services".

But the process of getting rid of Plunket line started years ago. The service was receiving $1 million of taxpayer funding. Most calls were going unanswered because more tax payer funds were needed to keep up with demand. With more funding, it could have been better, Miss Clark initially said.

Instead of boosting Plunket line by $2 million, the Government chose to boost the Ministry of Health's Healthline funding by $2 million and merge the two services.

Back in 2003, the Ministry of Health sought tenders for the provision of a national Healthline service. The tender requested that the national Healthline service provider include the provision of advice on Well Child and parent support, a service that had been provided by Plunket.

McKesson New Zealand and The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society put in a joint proposal which was accepted by the Ministry of Health. This meant that Plunket line was operated by Plunket on subcontract to McKesson.

Yet with triple the funds of Plunket line, up to 90 percent of calls were not being answered due to technical problems with the service [SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: McKesson disputes this contention and has been invited to submit a clarification.] - perhaps because all of the $2 million extra funding didn't go into the Plunket line operation. Plunket line was set up to fail.

Now Plunket has been removed from providing the service as McKesson is to take over the "Well Child" service. Perhaps that was the plan all along. Nobody told parents of preschoolers that.

There is absolutely no guarantee that the new service will match the Plunket service. Plunket was told that they did not get the contract because the Government thinks that McKesson can provide a better clinical telephone-based service. The new provider of this service after 1 July 2006 does not have the nurses to guarantee this service to the level specified in the contract

Helen Clark, who has never used Plunket line for her children, doesn't seem to realise that mothers do not just want a functional clinical telephone service.

It is not forgotten that the merger between Health line and Plunket line was announced on a Friday at the beginning of a Parliamentary recess - identical to the timing of the announcement of Plunket line's demise.

*************

Dave Crampton is a Wellington blogger and blogs at http://big-news.blogspot.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: Why The New British Conservative PM Is Talking Inequality

In a major speech, May honed in on one key theme: an economy “that works for everyone”. It was strikingly like the language that the former British Labour leader, Ed Miliband, used in last year’s election campaign, as he put inequality front and centre of his – unsuccessful – political pitch. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news