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Minister supplies details on PlunketLine meltdown

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

04 April 2005

Minister supplies details on PlunketLine meltdown

“Annette King has finally confirmed what was behind the meltdown of the PlunketLine Service in the busy December/January period,” says National Party MP Katherine Rich.

Previously released official figures confirm that in January 2005, 87% of all calls to PlunketLine went unanswered.

“It's no wonder that parents who tried to ring PlunketLine got frustrated with an answer phone message, the number of PlunketLine nurses rostered to work over that period was well down.

“This month, after I started asking questions, the number of nurses on at any one time has increased to 14. During the busy November, December, January period there were only nine.

“It certainly seems a more than just a coincidence, that once the blowtorch was put on the Minister, staffing levels improved.

“I congratulate Annette King for this damage control, but the parents of New Zealand will take no comfort from the fact that it took a major meltdown of the service to get Ministerial attention.

“This merger was hailed by the Health Minister as a boon for PlunketLine. So far, the evidence is less than convincing,” says Mrs Rich.

Parliamentary Question 03476 (2005)

Sent: Thursday, 24 March 2005 10:41 a.m.
To: Katherine Rich
Subject: 03476 (2005) Published - Health - Corrected Reply

Question: What was the total number of nurses staffing the Healthline service incorporating PlunketLine in October 2004, November 2004, December 2004, January 2005, February 2005 and March to date?

Portfolio: Health
Minister: Hon Annette King
Date Lodged:15/03/2005

Answer Text: Answer attached.

October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005
No. of PlunketLine nurses (full-time equivalents) 11 9
9 9
12 14

No. of Healthline nurses (full-time equivalents) 16 19.1 21.4 23.5 26.3 34

Note that each service is responsible for employing its own nurses.


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