KUNM

Local Nurse Advice Hotline Running Out Of Funds And Time

Nov 21, 2016

For a decade, local nurses lightened the load on the state’s emergency rooms by answering health questions via phone 24/7. But due to a lack of funding, the hotline will go dark on Dec. 31.

People with health concerns ranging from heart attacks to sick children call NurseAdvice to avoid emergency room visits. And Marian Berg’s heard it all.  She’s a registered nurse who’s dispensed free health care information to New Mexicans for almost 10 years. "Now, with you-know-who in power, it’s going to be even worse because if he eliminates Obama care, or the health care exchange, even more people are going to be uninsured and having to deal with access to health care," she said.

Berg said it’s scary to think of how crowded ERs will be once NurseAdvice is gone. It saved insurance providers $5.5 million dollars annually. Two bills were proposed earlier this year to keep the hotline open – both were rejected. Plans to introduce another measure are in the works for next January’s legislative session.