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24 July, 2009

Swine Flu Help Line

Thank goodness for our government, what would we do without them.
Every newspaper, radio and TV news, gossiping queue in the co-op and gaggle of parents outside the school gates is talking about swine flu. I defy you to find anyone who does not know all about it, yet yesterday the government launched a call centre staffed by 1500 people to give help and advice. Could this be the start of the end for GPs in the UK. Why would we need them if you can be safely diagnosed by a call centre, which no doubt in time can be outsources to India.

If you phone the help line this is what you might hear :-

Click, Hello, welcome to the government swine flu help line provided to you free by your government, which cares about you. Calls are free from most land lines although some operators may charge. Calls from mobiles will be charged at you contracted rate and may cost a considerable amount, something your government is trying to change for you.
While every effort is made to deal with your call promptly there may be times when the volume of calls will necessitate a short wait, please be aware that this wait would be longer under a government run by David Cameron.

In order that we can route your call to the appropriate person please select from the following list.
PRESS 1 if you would like to speak to one of our totally untrained advisor who can read to you from a hastily prepared script.
PRESS 2 if you think that you have swine flue and would like to be sent a prescription for an anti-viral that will not make you better but has side effects that will take your mind off of the flu.
PRESS 3 if you phoned this line for something to do.

PRESS 4 if you phoned this line just because you saw the number in The Sun or Daily Mail.
PRESS 5 for everything else.

After your selection you may get :-

Thank you, all our advisors are busy dealing with other people at the moment but as your government cares about your welfare all callers will be answered in sequence, you are caller number five thousand nine hundred and three. We know your call is important to you, your government has trained over 1500 staff to read to you from their screen and you will be connected to one of these otherwise unemployable people as soon as possible.
(long pause)

We are sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience, if you would like to listen to the calming voice of Gordon Brown telling you not to worry about swine flue, rather than Eine kleine Nachtmusik please press 1 now.

(long pause)

Sorry for the continued delay, you are now caller five thousand nine hundred and four, your call will be answered as soon as possible.

Of course there is another option, if you think you have the flu, go to bed, drink plenty of water, take paracetamol and if you experiece difficulty breathing call an ambulance. There you go, free advice and you didn't even have to wait for it.

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