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Tony Ryall

17 January, 2013

Healthline helping more Kiwis sooner

More New Zealanders are using the free 24-hour health advice phone line, with nearly 400,000 Healthline calls answered last year – 40 per cent more calls than four years ago.

“The increased number of calls shows what a valuable service Healthline provides to New Zealanders,” says Health Minister Tony Ryall.

“When someone is sick or hurt, especially our children, people often worry and need reassurance they are doing the right thing.

“When phoning Healthline, an experienced registered nurse will use their clinical experience and a sophisticated electronic system to quickly access your condition and provide advice on what to do. This advice may be to seek urgent care at an emergency department, or how to treat the condition at home.

“Healthline nurses also have an extensive database of health services so they can tell callers who are away from home where to find their nearest GP, pharmacy or dentist.

“Healthline ensures New Zealanders are getting the right care, at the right place and at the right time.”

“More people are also phoning PlunketLine for parental support and advice. Last year Plunket nurses answered over 93,000 calls – 17,000 more calls compared to 2008. National funded a 24-hour PlunketLine as part of its election promise.

The National led Government is investing an extra $6 million over the next four years to boost telephone advice services so even more New Zealanders can speak with a nurse anytime of the day.