web analytics

Save the Poisons Helpline!

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 23rd, 2014 - 29 comments
Categories: families, health, petition, same old national - Tags: ,

Your child has swallowed something caustic, and you need to know how to save them ASAP. With world’s best practice, and WHO guidelines you’ll get straight through on the Posion Hotline to find out how to counteract the liquid your child has taken.

But wait, Steven Joyce is involved. Now you need to go thru a triage call-centre first to assess your need.  As your child chokes.

This may sound over-dramatic, but it’s a real possibility, thanks to more thoughtless penny-pinching from National.

Otago Uni keep an up-to-date poison database of products available in NZ, with their brandnames etc. They subsidise the Helpline to the tune of $1.3 million per year.

It won’t be that way if Australian call-centre provider Medibank get their hands on it: will they have intimate knowledge of NZ products, brands etc. which change from week to week, NZ geography with all of its Maori place-names – and – the already stated toxicology expertise?

Outsourcing jobs. Downgrading services. Putting lives at risk. For imaginary cost savings. Typical Nats.

Best we work on saving the Helpline, with Labour’s petition. Sign it now.

poisons-banner2

29 comments on “Save the Poisons Helpline!”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    National are objectively Pro-poison. You are either with us, or you are with the poison.

  2. BM 2

    99.99999999% of people would ring 111.

  3. srylands 3

    Seriously? Wouldn’t it be much cheaper for us to pay the marginal cost to one of the Australian (or better still) the National Poisons Centre in the USA, and access their huge resources? How does it make sense for a country of 4.5 million to continually meet the fixed costs of these types of services?

    Over the next decade you are going to see an acceleration in innovation and outsourcing in public services. These types of NZ Government services will be unrecognisable from today’s business models. They will be regionalised (or globalised), cheaper, and better.

    It is irresponsible for you to be discouraging innovation with the public. You are simply engaging in emotional, populist, behaviour. You have no evidence that the planned business model will offer less value for money to the taxpayer.

    There is no alternative to the current moves.

    • BM 3.1

      Don’t be ridiculous, young babies across NZ will be dying in the thousands if this service is altered in any way.

      Damn you Steven Joyce, you evil baby killer.

    • framu 3.2

      “will they have intimate knowledge of NZ products, brands etc. which change from week to week, NZ geography with all of its Maori place-names – and – the already stated toxicology expertise?

      Outsourcing jobs. Downgrading services. Putting lives at risk. For imaginary cost savings. Typical Nats.”

      funny how thats in the post yet you fail to notice or address it

      wheres your evidence that outsourcing to overseas does anything you claim it does? – you ask for it to be provided if someone wants to keep it inside govt, but offer none to support your position

      theres stacks of evidence that outsourcing costs more, and outsourcing to overseas also adds massive errors and delays due to geographical and language issues.

      One very good example is now with immigration they have outsourced the overseas processing of paperwork to private third parties. Its an expensive disaster due to these third parties making really basic errors in both policy and process, not having a clue where anything is in NZ and zero accountability – guess whos paying for these issues to be fixed on a case by case basis – the tax payer via the immigration service

      and no where is anyone arguing against innovation – thats a TINA straw man you just shoved in there

      faith based moron

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        he meant encouraging innovation for those in other countries. I wonder if he actually works at a call centre in australia, doesnt belong to a union so is worried about his job?

    • paymar 3.3

      The poisons unit in Dunedin provides local guidelines for our local toxins, such as insect stings and household cleaning products. The US database is not relevant to our country. Our database is a premium resource that is subscribed to by health authorities, universities and hospitals across Australia and likely other countries too (https://www.library.uq.edu.au/blogs/hsl/2011/05/09/toxinz-database-trial-contains-information-toxic-compounds-and-management-poiso). It provides emergency medicine and intensive care-level guidelines on how to manage snake bites, drug overdoses etc. Our database is used in other countries because it is authoritative, comprehensive (hundreds of thousands of drugs and toxins are indexed) and regularly updated. I’m sure they make some money out of contracting their services out too.
      Here is an example of the comprehensive emergency stabilisation information provided to those at the point of care dealing with box jellyfish envenoming: http://www.toxinz.com/Demo/6/Y2hpcm9uZXgvMDAz

  4. weka 4

    “99.99999999% of people would ring 111.”

    Do you have any actual evidence of that apart from what you just pulled out of your arse?

    • wtl 4.1

      Since that number would mean that the Poisons hotline only gets 1 call out of every 10,000,000,000 (yes, 10 billion) poisons-related calls, its obvious where it came from.

      In any case, as David Clark points out below, even if you called 111 for a Poisons-related issue, the respondents would use the same service to obtain advice.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        This is something I don’t get. Why is it an advantage in removing the individual telephone numbers which provide pre-choice selection of service, only then to have someone pick up and have a discussion. So if its the same service advice, and the same numbers what’s the point?

  5. shorts 5

    Does National hate Dunedin – a lot of jobs there seem to be going offshore thanks to govt decrees

    Support kiwis, keep the Poisons Helpline here!

    • McFlock 5.1

      Well, two long-standing Labour seats and Michael “I’m probably related” Woodhouse… no political downside for Steven Joyce 🙂

  6. weka 6

    “Seriously? Wouldn’t it be much cheaper for us to pay the marginal cost to one of the Australian (or better still) the National Poisons Centre in the USA, and access their huge resources? How does it make sense for a country of 4.5 million to continually meet the fixed costs of these types of services?”

    Maybe it would be cheaper but why would you want to focus on cost when the post is about the true value of the service ie competency based on local expertise.

    Would love to see a US call centre know what to do with tutu poisoning. But I guess u think such things can be learnt from a call centre manual.

    We already know that loss of local knowledge downgraded the 111 service so I can only assume you are happy with the cost benefit ratio. How clinical and sociopathic of you.

  7. Ergo Robertina 7

    Quite a chunk of health and social service provision is quietly shifting to Australian owned providers as Govt/ACC/DHBs move to large-scale providers of services.
    It’s tearing apart the cross subsidisation that helps sustain our regions, such as the University of Otago with the poisons centre, or the small rural hospitals that used home help contracts to help pay overheads.

  8. tinfoilhat 8

    How many calls does the poisons helpline get ?

  9. srylands – the service costs $2.8 million. University of Otago meets $1.3 million of that as part of a social service commitment. It is a heavily subsidised service that supplies the expert toxicologists (the same people who work on the database) when every second counts. Do you really think they will want to maintain that effective subsidy for the database for an international for-profit provider to provide a less-adequate service?

  10. weka 10

    Ben, are you able to pass this on to the relevant Labour person? I won’t sign a petition that automatically puts me on the Labour Party mailing list. It wouldn’t be that hard to put an opt in button on that page, whereby people who want to be kept up to date with the Labour campaigns can choose to do so.

    [Ben: I’m advised that upon signing the petition you get an instant email, from which you can unsubscribe straight away as a work around. An opt-out is a good idea though.]

  11. “99.99999999% of people would ring 111.”. Not true. Plunket advises all of its clients about the poison service. The 0800 Poison number is displayed prominently on products.
    Also worth noting it is the service that paramedics, emergency workers, GPs and vets use. 90% of users say they would have rushed to A&E if they couldn’t access the 0800 line (imagine the additional burden that would place on an already stretched service).

    • freedom 11.1

      ” 90% of users say they would have rushed to A&E if they couldn’t access the 0800 line (imagine the additional burden that would place on an already stretched service).”

      +1

    • BM 11.2

      “99.99999999% of people would ring 111.”. Not true

      If your baby had swallowed something caustic you’d ring the poison hotline first, before 111?

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        one scenario does not dictate all use.
        Even ED physicians call the hotline when the child is brought in, if there’s no onsite pharmacologist who can accurately and quickly analyse the complex drug interactions – especially if half the medicine cabinet is involved.

      • emergency mike 11.2.2

        “If your baby had swallowed something caustic you’d ring the poison hotline first, before 111?”

        Yup. If that happens the first thing you need is rapid expert advice on what to do. It may well be most important to act quickly. So you can call the poisons number, get that advice, and have them call an ambulance, or you can call 111, have a discussion with someone about whether you’d like a fire truck, then wait while they call the poison number so as to get back to you with what to do right now while the ambulance comes.

        You can go your own way BM, but if my baby was choking on poison I’d call the experts.

      • wtl 11.2.3

        You are ignoring the rest of David’s comment and positing a straw man argument. As he and others have said, even you don’t directly use the 0800 POISONS number but dial 111, then the respondents to your 111 number would still use the same poisons hotline service. So it doesn’t matter who you call originally.

  12. Philj 12

    xox
    Have used the service as young son took the contraceptive pill and dish washing powder, on seperate occasions. Service was excellent. I hope Joyce’s offspring appreciate what their dad is doing for them.

  13. greywarbler 13

    It is ironic that gummint wants to save money on what is a streamlined service using modern technology to deliver an efficient, clean, lean information service available to the public to assist in worrisome situations and help prevent costly outcomes.

    And once that is operating satisfactorily the weasels want to shut down part and reduce numbers of specialist channels rendering it chaotic unreliable vulnerable to failure and staffed on price by overworked and under-trained semi-skilled workers when the opposite is needed.

    What do we pay these government monkeys to do? Be change agents? As useful as a toddler building towers of blocks and knocking them over with a giggle of glee. That’s cute, but venal, simple-minded government-inspired budget stranglers aren’t.

  14. dv 14

    If the service is outsourced to say a private Aussie provider, what is to stop the provider getting cheaper call centre some where else in the world?

  15. Rosie 15

    Hi Ben, thanks for posting the petition. Signed and passed on. You know, every week the National Govt do something daft. The move to amalgamate several emergency health and mental health lines is one of their more face palmy type moments – it’s reckless, irresponsible and not thought through.

    Folks calling those lines are in a crisis situation and several seconds wasted fumbling around with options “press one to speak to….” could be the seconds that make a difference to their outcomes. The example you give above is not overly dramatic imo.

    Big ups to David Clark for popping in too (and noting that it’s not just individuals using the service, it’s health professionals that need that vital information in treating their patients who they suspect have been poisoned)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 hours ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    5 hours ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    6 hours ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    6 hours ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    8 hours ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    1 day ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    1 day ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    1 day ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    1 day ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    2 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    2 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    2 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    3 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    6 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    1 week ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere