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Healthline receives nearly 25,000 calls from Auckland region

Healthline receives nearly 25,000 calls from Auckland region

Medibank media release, 14 June 2013

The free health information and advice phone service Healthline – 0800 611 116 – continues to be very popular with Aucklanders, receiving nearly 25,000 calls from the Auckland region in the January to March 2013 quarter.

Medibank Health Solutions General Manager New Zealand, Andrea Pettett, says in the three months to 31 March 2013, Healthline answered nearly 95,000 calls, 24,898 of which were from the Auckland area.

“The most common reasons for calls from Auckland were concerns about vomiting, fever, diarrhea and colds in children, and questions about medication.”

And May was a particularly important month for the service, with the three millionth call being received on 15 May.

“It is gratifying to see how popular Healthline remains with New Zealanders,” Andrea Pettett says. “We get many comments from people about how valuable it is to have a voice on the end of the line to give health advice at any time of the day or night.”

Healthline’s team of experienced registered nurses provides confidential health advice. Calls are free from both landlines and cellphones. Callers are advised of a timeframe in which to see a doctor or other health provider or given health advice on managing their situation at home.

Alison McFarland from Orewa is one of 100 registered nurses across the country answering Healthline calls, working from her own home.

Healthline nurses are specifically trained in telenursing techniques. Nurses working from home must have their own dedicated area to work with no distractions and operate a separate telephone line for Healthline.

After eight years in hospital and district nursing, Alison McFarland says she loves working for Healthline.

“It’s very satisfying being able to reassure people and give them advice on what to do next – at no cost to them”.

She also appreciates the benefits of working from home. “I don’t need a car anymore so have no travel costs and I don’t spend any time travelling to work. The work-life balance is great.”

Healthline is funded by the Ministry of Health and provided by Medibank Health Solutions New Zealand Ltd in association with St John.

ENDS

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