There are multiple issues with immunisations in New Zealand. Access is probably only a small issue.
There doesn't seem to be any true leadership from the ministry. The MOH decides to ignore reality around the cost of giving childhood vaccinations. The funding needs to double for childhood vaccinations. If they fragment the market with other providers giving vaccines who will coordinate and recall patients. General Practice primary care is only paid to give vaccines. Who will download into our PMS systems those patients that have had vaccines and don't need recall. Will patients end up having double their vaccines costing the government more. Will General practice stop doing recalls?
Do the pharmacists realise general practice have a cost advantage on them of approximately 10 dollars per hour(the difference between nurse and pharmacist wages) and if we do make money on single adult vaccines then this helps cover the substantial losses on childhood ones.
So a broken system. How to fix.
Separate out adult and children's vaccinations. Double funding for childhood vaccinations.
Send automatic updates to General practice PMS systems so general practice knows who has or hasn't had a vaccine.
Provide funding for recalling patients. who will do this ? General practice? A computer in Wellington? Our PHO's? I imagine a more local person gets a better response.
NIR to suck up data for all our patients immunisations history for and pay general practice staff to look at old paper records to update NIR.
Then we could have safe fragmented system where other providers could safely give vaccines with the knowledge they are doing the right thing and the government will save by not having vaccines given twice.
Given the complete lack of access to MMR vaccines for many General Practices at present and the associated stress that this is causing primary care staff - what is the point in enabling Pharmacists to also give these vaccines and subsequently spreading the vaccine stock even thinner?
New Zealand Doctor