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Brash welcomes Plunket commitment to hotline

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

28 September 2006

Brash welcomes Plunket commitment to hotline

National Party Leader Don Brash has welcomed Plunket’s commitment to PlunketLine, but accused Helen Clark of betraying parents after promising that Labour would fund and expand the service.

“It’s very clear there is still a high demand from parents for PlunketLine and it is fulfilling an important role.

“What’s most disappointing is that Plunket has had to scrape together the resources to keep the hotline from going cold, despite cast iron guarantees for government funding from Helen Clark. This is a disgrace.”

Quotes from Helen Clark on PlunketLine:

“We will move to fund the PlunketLine 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 penny-pinching,” - Helen Clark (March 1995) Speech to Royal NZ Plunket Society’s 52nd National Conference.

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? PlunketLine 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.

“My government will expand early intervention programmes. The first step will be to fund the PlunketLine service on a 24 hour a day, seven days a week basis,” - Helen Clark (December 1999) Speech from the Throne.

ENDS

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