Is this further proof the Health Department doesn’t look after older Australians? 81



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The government has already faced backlash over its MyGov website and long call-waiting times for Centrelink, now the Health Department has revealed it kept senior Australians waiting for over and hour-and-a-half to get through to the My Aged Care hotline.

Elderly Australians calling to hotline for vital information were forced to wait on hold for an “unacceptable” about of time, with many having to hang up before they could get the information they were after, reports the Courier Mail.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said it was disappointing older Australians were having to deal with such poor customer service – especially since it’s their tax dollars paying for the hotline.

“This is a very demanding, challenging and stressful time for people and it is a time when good service delivery is critical,” Mr O’Neill said.

“Waiting for up to 90 minutes, those responses are unacceptable generally in the community, but they are particularly unacceptable when you are talking about older Australians seeking information.”

The data, which was released by the government to the Senate, shows many customers waited on hold for more than an hour to get through to someone at the My Aged Care hotline between July and August last year. The longest wait time was 90 minutes and 78 seconds.

Have you had trouble getting through to a hotline like this or Centrelink? What’s the longest you’ve been kept on hold?

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  1. Yes Centrelink take sooo long to answer to fix a problem.. I remind myself call centre jobs are next, next, next.. Not a good job their stress levels are probably horrific.. And.. I am just one person in thousands..put the phone on speaker, carry on watching TV, or wash up or put laundry on etc, then it’s not so much wasted time waiting..
    It’s the chronic misinformation, not following through, and not keeping me informed and stuff ups that make me most upset and then another hour waiting to talk to someone.. I am not well and find that aspect worse than the wait on the phone and causing more stress.. Still.. I remind myself, what a horrible day they might be having, and have learnt patience and compassion. I am fed up with the system and how it is so complex, but not annoyed with the poor person who answers the phone.. If you are unhappy, send a complaint email, if they get enough complaints, it’s a statistical data gathering exercise and have to do something about it

    2 REPLY
    • Lee Horrocks that’s why I got a phone plan with Optus for unlimited calls.. $40 a month with no worries about times on phone and internet data with it.. I don’t have home phone.. Cheaper that way

  2. I only have a mobile so try to avoid 13 numbers but had to ring gc uni hospital to confirm an admittance 90 mins to be told that they would send letter then had to top up my phone. I was so mad for 30 mins was told u was next in line that’s why I waited. Will not ring centrelink

  3. Ringing any Government Department is a nightmare, but Centerlink without doubt is the worst, they are under funded and under staffed, this Liberal Government has terminated the employment of many Public Servants, with no regard for the Australians who are forced to try to contact them

    9 REPLY
  4. ALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS are near impossible to call, now I’m retired I would rather get in the car and be on the doorstep of Centrelink when it opens. I’m not sure if it is just luck when I get there that I get served almost immediately however it is a huge improvement on being put on hold. These departments need a big shake up, and our GOVERNMENT need a huge kick in the bum for making this happen in the first place.

    2 REPLY
  5. Never mind the Health department, the Government (both parties) do not look after the aged, it’s disgusting

    4 REPLY
    • The ALP, The Greens and the Independents are the ones who blocked cut to the CPI rise in Parliament. The Liberal Party is in Government now and they done nothing for older Australians..not one thing !! except cause them a lot of worry

    • It is not the ALP who has taken people off pension, nor was it the ALP who wanted to cut the CPI rise nor is it the ALP who wants to stop people on pensions leaving the country, nor does the ALP want to pensions and medicare into the hands of the Private sector ..that is the Liberal Party.

  6. What happened to the callback service which quietly disappeared. When you rang Centrelink you were given an option to leave voice recorded message and were told “you will not lose your place in the queue” then Centrelink called you back.
    No brainier. So why was it stopped???

    2 REPLY
    • Lesley Oldfield it probably stopped because it was more convenient for people and they all used it. That would mean every call they would have to call back, more work for them. They want people to just hang up in frustration.

  7. I rang centerlink the other day spoke to 3 different people and all told I was on the phone for just on 2 hours before i got the answer I wanted, Really frustrating

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