Best prac­tice the goal

The Northern Advocate - - Opinion - Dr Shane Reti Dr Shane Reti

Afew weeks ago, I put on my Whanga¯ rei GP hat and cov­ered a lunchtime ses­sion at the Whanga¯ rei Girls’ High School menin­gi­tis vac­ci­na­tion cen­tre vac­ci­nat­ing Whanga¯ rei chil­dren.

This was a very well-run cen­tre with eight vac­ci­na­tors in­clud­ing my­self. I have backed our North­land Dis­trict Health Board in its ef­forts to vac­ci­nate North­land chil­dren against menin­gi­tis in­clud­ing vac­ci­nat­ing my­self and lob­by­ing the Min­istry of Health for more funds for the cam­paign.

Go­ing for­ward, the DHB has my sup­port, but look­ing back­ward I am in­creas­ingly con­cerned with the ac­tions of the Min­istry, Phar­mac and the Min­is­ter around the de­lay in launch­ing the cam­paign.

Did the Gov­ern­ment “penny pinch” the North­land cam­paign and has North­land had the best chance for the best out­come? An­swer­ing this ques­tion has been like peel­ing back an onion: ev­ery layer re­veals an­other is­sue.

I will briefly ex­plain my con­cerns and the reader can make their own as­sess­ment.

Firstly, the North­land menin­gi­tis cam­paign has been de­layed. I be­lieve the North­land DHB CEO when he told the Select Com­mit­tee that he and his team warned the Min­istry in May of a menin­gi­tis out­break and pleaded for a vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme. They were ig­nored un­til Novem­ber 8 when an out­break was de­clared. Se­condly, the Min­istry web­site says 5 to 12-year-olds in North­land will miss out be­cause of vac­cine avail­abil­ity. How can that be pos­si­ble when thou­sands are be­ing sold pri­vately through an Auck­land vac­cine sup­plier and I my­self can or­der dozens through my GP web­site? Thirdly, I am in­creas­ingly be­com­ing con­cerned with the Phar­mac role and am ex­plor­ing ex­actly what they did and did not do as the vac­cine pur­chaser.

More specif­i­cally, the out­break was de­clared on Novem­ber 8 and yet the vac­cine or­der was not placed by Phar­mac un­til Novem­ber 22 — 14 days later.

In Select Com­mit­tee be­fore Christ­mas, the CEO of Phar­mac told me they had acted quickly, but why then was the or­der not placed for an­other two weeks?

It was re­veal­ing this week, as I ad­dressed these is­sues on TV 1 news, that the Phar­mac re­ply in­cluded, “we can’t just fo­cus on North­land as there are other health con­cerns in NZ also”.

I would like the Min­istry to tell us what the cost of vac­ci­nat­ing 5 to 12-year-olds is and why that cost is too much for the Min­istry to fund.

I am lob­by­ing for all North­land chil­dren un­der 20 years of age to be vac­ci­nated. At the same time, I will keep ex­plor­ing whether best prac­tice has been fol­lowed so that North­land and oth­ers in the fu­ture will get the best pos­si­ble out­comes. 1 Who is cred­ited with the orig­i­nal say­ing “When the go­ing gets tough, the tough get go­ing”?

2 Which peo­ple con­quered Eng­land

in 1066?

3 The city of Tampa is found in

which US state?

4 The game of chess is thought to have orig­i­nated in the 2nd cen­tury in which coun­try?

5 Which Euro­pean cap­i­tal city was

once known as Chris­tia­nia? Q: Why did the man with one hand cross the road?

A: To get to the sec­ond hand shop. 1784: The United States rat­i­fied the Treaty of Paris end­ing the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War; Bri­tain fol­lowed suit in April 1784.

1953: Josip Broz Tito was elected pres­i­dent of Yu­goslavia by the coun­try's Par­lia­ment.

1967: The Six­ties' ‘‘Sum­mer of Love’’ unof­fi­cially be­gan with a ‘‘Hu­man Be-In’’ in­volv­ing tens of thou­sands of young peo­ple at Golden Gate Park in San Fran­cisco.

1969: 27 peo­ple aboard the air­craft car­rier USS En­ter­prise, off Hawaii, were killed when a rocket war­head ex­ploded, set­ting off a fire and ad­di­tional ex­plo­sions.

1970: Di­ana Ross and the Supremes per­formed their last con­cert to­gether, at the Fron­tier Ho­tel in Las Ve­gas.

1989: Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan de­liv­ered his 331st and fi­nal weekly White House ra­dio ad­dress, telling lis­ten­ers, ‘‘Be­lieve me, Satur­days will never seem the same. I'll miss you.’’ 1994: Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Boris Yeltsin signed an ac­cord to stop aim­ing mis­siles at any na­tion; the lead­ers joined Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Leonid Kravchuk in sign­ing an ac­cord to dis­man­tle the nu­clear arse­nal of Ukraine.

● Blues singer Clarence Carter is 83.

● Singer Jack Jones is 81.

● Ac­tress Faye Du­n­away is 78.

● Ac­tress

Hol­land Tay­lor is 76.

● Ac­tor Carl Weathers is 71. 1. Joseph P. Kennedy, fa­ther of Ed­ward, John and Robert. 2. Nor­mans. 3. Flor­ida. 4. In­dia. 5. Oslo. The North­ern Ad­vo­cate is sub­ject to the New Zealand Me­dia Coun­cil. Com­plaints to be first di­rected to ed­i­[email protected] north­er­nad­vo­cate.co.nz. If un­sat­is­fied, the com­plaint may be re­ferred to the Me­dia Coun­cil, PO Box 10-879, The Ter­race, Welling­ton 6143, or [email protected]­di­a­coun­cil.org.nz. More de­tails and an on­line com­plaints form avail­able at www.me­di­a­coun­cil.org.nz

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