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PlunketLine deserves our support

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

27 June 2006

PlunketLine deserves our support

National Party Leader Don Brash says it’s not too late for Helen Clark to “do the right thing for PlunketLine”.

“Helen Clark said she’d fund PlunketLine as a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week service. Labour’s cruel decision to axe funding is a betrayal of Kiwi families.”

Dr Brash is due to receive a 53,000-signature PlunketLine petition on the steps of Parliament today, after a pram parade through central Wellington.

“Helen Clark has made all sorts of misleading public comments about the performance of PlunketLine, which was set up to fail by Labour.

“She should admit the errors and restore funding for the service before it is forced to dip into its own reserves to survive.

“The Prime Minister gave cast iron assurances that under Labour, PlunketLine would be fully funded and given room to expand. Helen Clark must keep her promise,” says Dr Brash.

ENDS

‘We see real value in PlunketLine, and we want it to receive Government funding’. - Helen Clark told a 1995 Plunket Society conference.

Later that year ‘The service (PlunketLine) is established and the demand for it is overwhelming. It deserves support.’

‘We will move to fund the PlunketLine for 24 hour coverage,’ - Helen Clark (November 1999) Speech to Wellington Campaign Rally.


Labour’s ‘detailed economic and social policy’ includes… ‘Funding the Plunket hotline for 24 hours a day to give all parents access to free healthcare advice for their small children,’ - Helen Clark (May 1995) Speech to Invercargill Rotary Club.


‘I want to make a special plea for government funding of PlunketLine. 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... But would it not be tragic if the result of cutting back on PlunketLine’s hours or its closure altogether was to be an increase in the number of infants’ and children’s deaths or near misses with illnesses like meningitis? Plunket Line does deal with real emergencies and with situations which if not dealt with speedily could become emergencies,’ - Helen Clark (April 1997) Speech to Royal New Zealand Plunket Society.

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