Tuesday, May 09, 2006

sitting by the telephone

updated post
(Earlier posts here and here and here)
Plunket president Kay Crowther told me that "Plunket's contract for Plunketline allowed for funding for up to 140,000 calls over a two-year period. It got 140,000 calls inside 11 months, and answered 75,000 every year, exceeding the terms of its contract".

So why did Helen Clark, in Parliament's Question Time today say this.
"I have ascertained that the subcontract with McKesson was for a figure of 140,000 calls by the end of its 2-year contract, on 30 June. I am further advised that Plunket neither has achieved nor is on track to achieve that target

The fact that some calls were not answered is not why Plunketline lost the contract according to Pat Touhy, Director of Child Health at the Ministry of Health. He said this much on RNZ's Morning Report on 10 April, and I quote:
The Plunketline programme was not stopped because of the high rate of unanswered calls.

The Northland Age reported last month that in the year to June 2006, Plunketline is on track to answer 109% of their fixed maximum calls. That is exceeding its contract.

So why did Clark also say this in Parliament today.
The contracted organisation was unable to meet the number of calls it was contracted for....It is a very strange Opposition that tells the Government to keep paying the money.

Could it be something to do with her advice?

Meanwhile Crowther has now confirmed Plunket
received a letter from McKesson discussing more funding,
but as it appears to be on a condition that non-plunket nurses were to answer the extra calls, plunket declined as the identity and integrity of Plunket would not have been retained.

update II
As revealed in Parliament today, the Government aimed to ensure that McKesson was to deliver Healthline by 1 July 2005.

The contract between McKesson and the Government said "McKesson will use its best endeavours to ensure that Healthline, incorporating PlunketLine, will be delivered via one nationally available 0800 number by 1 July 2005. Funds for this contract will not be used to promote the PlunketLine number after this date.”

That is why the Ministry of Health has let McKesson take over PlunketLine. It's clear that the Government hoped to minimise its involvement in PlunketLine, by making it a subsidiary of Healthline at least two years ago.

I wonder how many were on the "independant panel" that decided the recent tender that were NOT from the Health Ministry? How independant was that panel?

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