GP groups and Aboriginal community controlled health services from around the country have called on the Government to quickly engage with general practices and Aboriginal community controlled health services in preparation for the rollout of a Swine Flu vaccine.
In a letter to Health Minister Nicola Roxon, United General Practice Australia (UGPA) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organization (NACCHO) called on Government to start planning for the roll out now.
A Swine Flu vaccine is currently undergoing clinical trials and is expected to be available within months.
UGPA, representing the Australian Medical Association, the Australian General Practice Network, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and General Practice Registrars Australia, combined with NACCHO, stand ready to work with the Government to support the rollout of the Swine Flu vaccine in an efficient and effective way.
With more than 7,300 general practices, over 140 Aboriginal community controlled health services, 23,000 GPs and 7,500 GP practice nurses across the country - general practice and Aboriginal community controlled health services are best placed to provide patients with access to the vaccine at the local level and in a timely fashion.
The groups have welcomed the purchase of the vaccine but say effective distribution networks, clinical protocols and other relevant information must be established well ahead of delivery.
This means that the Government must start working with GP groups and NACCHO now to reduce the risk of delay and consequent frustration within the broader community.