Thursday, May 04, 2006

sitting inside my head

Yesterday in Parliament Helen Clark said Plunketline was not providing a good service because 87.3 percent of calls were not answered. Plunket denies this.

But what is worse, Clark said that she had received advice that Plunket was offered funding for more calls and did not take up the offer.

Plunket president Kaye Crowther categorically denied to me today that Plunket was offered funding for more calls, and so it could hardly take up a non-existent offer.

I`d like to know if the "advice" was provided from the inside of Clark's head. Not even her advisors seem to know where she got that "advice" from. Perhaps it was made up by Heather Simpson, who has been arranging meetings with Plunket.

Plunket's contract for Plunketline allowed for funding for to 140,000 calls over a two-year perod. It got 140,000 calls inside 11 months, and answered 75,000 ever year, exceeding the terms of its contract.

Crowther said that that the contractexpressly prohibited Plunketline from answering more calls. Furthermore, Plunket was prevented from saying why it couldnt take more calls via a gagging clause in it's contract, as, presumably, this would embarrass the Government and expose the extent of the underfunding.

Helen Clark should have said that Plunket was "not providing a good service" because the contract expressly prohibited it fom meeting demand. Plunketline got a A+ in terms of its contract, but Plunket was gagged from saying so.

So why isn`t Clark similarly saying that the Ministry of Health is not providing a good service with regards to waiting lists?

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