I AM director of a suburban GP clinic. The task to create a model for vaccine delivery that fits within prescribed Medicare payments without compromising financial and workforce sustainability or patient safety was arduous. I am not alone. Every practice who submitted an EOI has done this. It was not easy, and the fact that so many GP practices put their hands up is testimony to their willingness to put community health over their needs... again.
The allocation of just 40 vaccines per week was a blow to a practice that has submitted capacity to deliver 1000-1500 vaccines and supports around 2000 eligible patients. We understand limitations around supply so used this as the opportunity to test our model. It was virtually seamless.
Which brings me to my point.
The issue is supply, not administration. GP clinics around the country have invested in planning, staff, and equipment to deliver en masse at no small cost to themselves. Stepping in to take over is not needed. What we need is supply and better communication with the government around their plans before they are made public.
The COVID-19 vaccination drive is a massive opportunity for Australia's population without a relationship with a GP practice to enrol and gain the proven long term health benefits of continuity of care. Benefits that of course result in a healthier population and a smaller health spend. It is such a shame to interfere in this potential.
Kath Teagle, Mayfield
What's the political hold-up?
SO has anyone yet worked out when we start dispensing our millions of vaccines in an efficient way? If I were a Liberal politician right now I might be breathing a huge sigh of relief that excuses have appeared everywhere. However, I have decided that, for me, is not good enough. We needed to plan properly for an efficient and effective vaccine program. No more stuffing around, this time or next; get the shots going. If under 50s can no longer get the AstraZeneca shot we should now assume that there are now millions of extra shots available?
Hopefully as a 70-plus person I can now call my local, listed GP clinic and actually book an appointment rather than wait another two to three weeks before trying to phone yet again for a booking.
Politicians can talk but do very little else. The main issue, of course, is that if you cannot plan a p--s-up in a brewery there is little chance you can run a country. When do international flights start again?
Our leaders did a good job of semi-prevention initially but have proven to be absolutely crap at vaccination planning.
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
Passion of the past is missed
I AM sorry, Adam O'Brien, but for the life of me I cannot see anything that tells me that the team you have wants anything but a few moments in the press and an easy ride. These overpriced show ponies are in my opinion a total disgrace and should be immediately put on performance-based contracts, or sacked. They were constantly outplayed, out-thought and outclassed against the Titans ('Losing direction', Newcastle Herald 12/4).
I honestly think the Wests Group should take stock of what these individuals are producing, as they are neither giving the town or rugby league their money's worth. People will say that injuries are to blame; however they should look at other teams and then ask how come this is happening. If we must field old school types approach the Chief, Butts and poor old Sarge, because they certainly gave a lot more to the team than we are getting.
Dennis Crampton, Swansea
Voice for mining not the only one
I RECENTLY pointed out (Letters 6/4) that coal accounts for 80 per cent of the value of NSW mining production. Consequently, the Knights sponsorship deal with the "NSW mining industry" is, for all intents and purposes, with the coal industry.
Knights CEO Phil Gardner says he "feels sorry" for anyone who objects to the deal, and that the club "will always support" the industry ('Knights put boot into critics of mining deal', Herald 10/4). Really? With all due respect to Mr Gardner, in my opinion he would do well to curb the arrogance and remind himself that he doesn't own the club. He should also rein in the hyperbole.
According to Mr Gardner, we are indebted to the coal industry and agriculture for our standard of living, including essential services such as schools and hospitals.
However, and quite obviously, a host of other industries, businesses and activities also contribute to our economy, as the renewable energy sector will also increasingly do in the future. Economies change, and with that sources of revenue. The risks of a particular economic activity can over time come to outweigh its rewards. There is nothing immutable about all this.
IN THE NEWS:
Mr Gardner also suggests that anyone who objects to the sponsorship deal is "putting down" miners and their families. Emotive stuff, in my view, verging on offensive. If the coal industry is really so dominant in our economy, and its long-term future so assured, why should a single sponsorship deal with a football club be off limits to criticism? Could it be because the Knights badly need the money, and the coal companies desperately need to sanitise their image? That the Knights are being paid to help put lipstick on a pig?
A team that represents an entire region is being used to promote one particular industry in the full knowledge that industry is contributing to grave environmental harm. There must and will be a transition away from coal. It has already begun. With honesty, planning, resources and leadership, that can be done in a way that really looks after the long-term interests of coal mining communities.
I believe the Knights can and should be part of that, rather than of a special interest public relations campaign to sell false hope.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
Focus on electorates, not elections
I AGREE with Adam Walton's comments (Letters 12/4), however I feel he believes the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation has an altruistic side. I believe its only goal is to maximise the profits from the sale of our harbourside land for the developers and the state government.
I said in a piece several years ago that the politicians of the 1940s, '50s and the '60s, of both parties, were concerned about their electors and their electorates, while the current crop do not seem to look further than the next election. Nothing seems to have changed.
Dennis Kershaw, Caves Beach
Apology was the right outcome
CONGRATULATIONS to Jacinta Price in obtaining an apology for being accused of "spreading racist vitriol" and "hate speech" regarding her speaking tour Mind the Gap. These slurs against a woman who is also Aboriginal in my opinion just shows that the woke warriors are very selective in who they support. Ms Price's alleged crime, as far as the political elites and race warriors were concerned, seems to be that she has spoken up on behalf of Aboriginal women and children who are victims of domestic violence. In my opinion Coffs Harbour City Council also owes Jacinta an apology.
John Rumble, Albion Park
A VOTE for the One Nation Party ('Gone Nation', Newcastle Herald 12/4) is in my opinion not a protest vote but effectively a vote for the Coalition, which in turn is a vote to erode workers' rights and conditions. Anyone expecting anything other from Pauline Hanson's party is severely deluded.
Mac Maguire, Charlestown
WHEN life first emerged from the primeval slime it was the start of the first reality show. They gradually deteriorated from there.
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
I HAVE a suggestion for the Newcastle Knights. Sack the coach, Adam O'Brien, and employ Gold Coast Titans coach Justin Holbrook. Why? Because O'Brien has a multi-million dollar team of pretty boys and he seems to be rattling off an ongoing list of excuses while Holbrook has a team of nobodies except one or two players of any note and the Titans are just humming along ('Losing direction', Herald 12/4). To get slammed once again on Saturday, for the second straight week, is just not good enough. Come on, the guru from West Leagues, sack him now before the whole season becomes a complete shambles.
Neil Fletcher, West Wallsend
I HOPE the Knights had a nice weekend away at the Gold Coast ('Losing direction', Herald 12/4).
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
EVEN all the hype and coverage in the news of female belittlement and entitlement could not prevent Leslie Hillhouse ('Dirty John reference triggered DV attack', Herald 10/4) from a much longer jail term. This movement needs to step up, otherwise it will just be another annoying anomaly. And someone please tell Dave Fothergil (Short Takes, 10/4) that there will always be violence. The way we perceive, live and deal with it is how we will evolve.
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
ADAM Walton (Letters, 12/4) suggests that the Honeysuckle waterfront ticks all the boxes for a cruise terminal. Very few cities of similar size to Newcastle have a cruise terminal. Many major cities and popular destinations have no cruise terminal. To be viable there would need to be multiple ships docking every week. That will not happen here, so any facility has to involve shared wharf facilities, which was always going to be the case. That eliminates cafes etc and reintroduces cargo to the inner city harbourside.
Doug Hoepper, Garden Suburb
SO we have golfer Tiger Woods crashing at almost double the speed limit. No drug or alcohol tests. Can't remember what happened. Perhaps keeping the animal theme going (initially from Eldrick to Tiger) he should now change it to Goose. It has a ring about it, Goose Woods.