Healthline delays

Stuff reports:

People calling Healthline for advice about coronavirus are waiting up to three hours to get through. …

Kapiti Coast man Rob Heaney-Yeatts arrived back in New Zealand on Sunday last week after a two-week holiday in the Philippines.

He called Healthline on Saturday and Sunday to check if people who arrived back in the country a week ago had to self-isolate. He was on hold for three hours before the call was disconnected.

“I’ve been on hold for between one and three hours every time I’ve called, with the line eventually being cut. Now all I get is a ‘sorry we can’t take your call’ reply,” he said.When Stuff called Healthline on Sunday afternoon, they were greeted with an automated message: “Welcome to Healthline. If you have a life-threatening emergency, hang up now and call 111. We are responding to the coronavirus and your call may take longer to answer.”

The next time Stuff called an automated message said to call back later.

This is a very serious problem. All the advice is to ring Healthline, rather than go see your GP. But if people can’t get through to Healthline, the system falls over.

Obviously the Government needs to ensure Healthline get more staff as soon as possible. It could be worth considering approaching doctors and nurses who have retired in the last few years. Am sure many would be happy to help.

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