The Ministry of Health has had a change of heart about the
process it will follow to combine health helpline services,
saying it wants to work with potential providers in a more
Dunedin's National Poisons Centre last month warned it feared
for its future under the amalgamation plan.
This week, centre director Dr Wayne Temple said he did not
know what the change meant and needed more information.
''It's obviously some sort of change. But I just really don't
know what it means.''
The ministry planned to combine the National Poisons Centre
with other services, including addictions and general health
queries, into a single helpline.
The Dunedin service advises a raft of government departments,
including on national security matters, and employs 14
people. Dr Temple said last month the helpline was only one
of its roles, and many functions were not written in
The ministry said in a press release this week it would not
go ahead with the request for a proposal tender process that
had initially been planned.
''After careful consideration we will undertake a form of
competitive dialogue process that enables us to have more
interaction with providers.
''Our new approach provides more flexibility when dealing
with complex purchases allowing us to jointly develop the
service with potential providers,'' the ministry statement
The ministry will issue a call for interested parties to
register their interest in the middle of this month.