Council calls for vaccine payment

THE Bundaberg Regional Council is heading for a clash with the state government over the school-based immunisation service.

At a meeting the council voted to continue the service “subject to full cost recovery” being provided by Queensland Health.

The council also decided to stop its free public immunisation clinics from September 1.

A report to council said the school-based program cost $102,541.72 a year.

However, Queensland Health only contributed $70,052.40, with the rest coming out of the council budget.

The original motion said council would provide the service subject to “significant funding” from Queensland Health.

Cr Danny Rowleson, who moved the amendment to the motion, said yesterday the ball was now in Queensland Health's court.

He said the state government had been increasing the financial burden on councils over a number of years.

“My view is it's really not something we should be involved in because it's Queensland Health's responsibility,” he said.

Cr Rowleson said the state government was offloading more responsibilities on to councils, such as drug awareness program in schools, without providing more funds.

He said the council had been forced to prop up the program.

“Because the state government abandoned this program we couldn't see it wither on the vine,” he said.

Cr Rowleson said the council wanted to send a message to the state government that it could no longer trust it to provide adequate funding for programs.

“We're fed up with them shovelling all the costs on to us,” he said.

Alexander Park Medical Centre practice nurse Colleen McGoldrick said if the school-based immunisation services stopped it would reduce access for patients, but surgeries would find a way to manage that.

“It would cause a bit of disruption in the beginning,” she said.



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