As with all previous years, the Government is taking the winter flu season extremely seriously. Our Government is the first to have put in place comprehensive annual winter plans in this state, with last year being our most comprehensive plan to date.
We will continue to take our advice on flu preparedness from health experts and health staff within the Tasmanian Health Service - not the Labor party, who previously closed whole wards and removed hospital beds in the middle of winter.
The advice of Public Health experts is overwhelmingly that a flu vaccine is the best form of defence for Tasmanians.
Public Health Services have been distributing influenza immunisations for vulnerable population groups to GP clinics under the National Immunisation Program, and the Government is also providing the immunisations for children aged 6 months to five years once again after last year’s highly successful program.
Further, Public Health Services have been engaging with local aged care providers to ensure that they are as prepared as possible.
The winter plan is in the final stages of development and I will have more to say on that in the near future.
Labor’s medi-scaremongering in the context of a federal election must stop. It does nothing but undermine public confidence in the hard work of our health professionals, who deserve all our support as we see demand on health services continuing to increase across the country.