BRITISH COLUMBIA

Newborn Hotline Cut Worries Vancouver Mom

07/08/2013 09:26 EDT | Updated 09/07/2013 05:12 EDT
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Some parents say they want Vancouver Coastal Health to keep a newborn hotline alive after learning it is slated to be terminated at the end of the month.

The newborn hotline is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT and is only available to residents of Vancouver and Richmond.

The health authority says parents seeking newborn advice can call the province’s HealthLink 811 line, which is offered 24 hours a day and seven days a week for all of Vancouver Coastal Health’s jurisdiction.

Closing the newborn hotline will save $174,000 a year, according to health authority spokeswoman Anna Marie D’Angelo.

"We don't want to duplicate services ... we have to look at resources and use them efficiently," she said.

Still, parents like Jenny Puterman say the newborn hotline has been a life line.

She says advice from the nurses staffing the line is much more specialized than what’s offered at 811.

"I think it's very short sighted as a cost-cutting measure to cut that line because I know as a mom it's saved us trips to emergency, it's saved us trips to the doctor," she said.

Puterman says she recently used the hotline to ask about her four-month-old son’s vaccinations.

"We all know that any trip to the emergency room or the doctor is going to cost a lot more," she said.

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