Insomnia? Call Medicare, and sleep while you wait

The Commonwealth Public Sector Union survey of 940 employees found that a $2.2 billion public sector budget cut, combined with the impact of recent floods, was putting massive pressure on staff at Medicare and other Department of Human Services offices.

The survey found four in five staff surveyed reported longer customer waiting times in the past six months, 71.8% reporting more customer complaints, and 71.3% reported increased customer hostility.

One staff member claimed that “there have been two recent instances where staff answered calls only to find that the customer had been waiting so long they had fallen asleep” and “were snoring”. 

When a deputy manager sought advice “from Canberra” as to how to best deal with such cases, the recommendation was that such calls “should be terminated after 30 seconds if the customer does not wake”.

“This looks good on the stats because it is