Best practice the goal
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
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.
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