All I Want for Christmas…is a swine flu jab

The Department of Health have outlined plans to get every child under the age of 5 vaccinated against swine flu by Christmas, and have been somewhat surprised when talks between GPs and the government have broken down.

It is optimistic to say the least to expect GP surgeries around the country to provide vaccinations for all under-fives in the remaining few weeks before Christmas. The failure to reach an agreement has been blamed on the fear that GPs will lose out on bonuses. GPs currently receive bonuses if they see patients within 48 hours and allow them to book appointments in advance. They have been accused of prioritising their salaries over the safety of children.

However, I think the outcry over money is detracting from the main issue. The real problem is the lack of manpower. Providing extra services and staff to administer the vaccinations is a huge task, and putting the pressure on in the busy run-up to the Christmas holidays seems unreasonable. I don’t think GPs are objecting to the dent it might put into their bonuses, but more the extra time and staff investment required to roll out the scheme.

The government need to think through the practicality of their demands and work alongside the people concerned – supporting the GPs and nurses in this case, in order to achieve their goals. Without their cooperation, the scheme is unlikely to succeed, and vaccinations are not likely to be completed until the New Year.

I don’t think the government will get what they want this Christmas.

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Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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