WASHINGTON--Up to one-third of callers to the National Cancer
Institutes hot line for cancer information(1-800-4-CANCER) get
a busy signal or hang up because of the long wait for someone to pick
up, according to a report by the inspector general of the Department
of Health and Human Services.
The wait can be as long as 20 minutes. This year it is averaging 5.3
minutes, down from an average of 7.2 minutes last year, said Cristy
Thomsen, chief of the NCIs Cancer Information Service. Ms.
Thomsen agreed to many of the inspector generals
recommendations, and said the NCI plans to address the problems.