“there’s no slack in the system”

Northern Ireland’s singular, in the UK, response to the swine flu [H1N1] pandemic has evolved over time. The NI Health Minister, speaking on Stormont Live today, warned of potential “extreme consequences” based on his prediction that the current strategy will cost the NI Department of Health £75 million. And “there’s no slack in the system”.

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  • joeCanuck

    Beats me how a few ads and posters telling people to wash their hands frequently, like they should always be doing anyway, can cost 75M quid. H1N1 is less virulent than “normal” ‘flu.

  • Pete Baker

    Joe

    Specific vaccine, Tamiflu.

  • joeCanuck

    Ah, Pete. It’s different here in Ontario. Flu vaccine, free, is available for everyone every year since about 2001.

  • Pete Baker

    Joe

    It’s not that different.

    New vaccines cost money to develop, someone has to pay for that.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, but our Provincial Government budgets for that up front.
    Interestingly, although it’s available here for everyone, there is only about a 20% take up rate. Don’t know if the Health Ministry takes that into account because the take up might be much higher this year because of the hype.

  • Pete Baker

    Joe

    “Yes, but our Provincial Government budgets for that up front.”

    Think that through in the context of an unexpected pandemic and a block grant.

  • joeCanuck

    Pete,

    Reserve fund? To use a likely example from Turgon’s interesting analogies, if an army commits all of its troops to the initial battle, it’s more likely to lose when the other side throws in its reinforcements.

  • Pete Baker

    Joe

    Think it through. For example, whose reserve fund?

    Your provincial government will still tax you to pay for those new vaccines.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “New vaccines cost money to develop, someone has to pay for that.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/swine-flu-plc-cashing-in-on-the-pandemic-1761478.html

    I would say that it might be the population at large Pete..

    Judging from this piece it could become rather unpleasant to refuse our leaders.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6823345.ece

  • igor

    Look. It’s only the bloody FLU!!!!

    The most recent data shows that teh death rate is far below the original predictions – a bit higher than normal flu but not that much.

    Sad that anyone should die but we all will one day – though probably not from this.

    The combination of hype, poor journalism and budget-grabbing Departments is far more dangerous

  • Big Maggie

    Can we return the unused vaccine to the manufacturers when the expected pandemic doesn’t materialize? And get our money back?

    Thought not.

  • igor

    Saw Margaret Ritchie on at lunchtime.

    Apparently having good housing is now the most important human right (funny, I thought life and health came fisrt but hey its the SDLP) and there is the opportunity of a lifetime to build 543 new houses and solve the problem for ever. She’s up for for it but the problem is that she needs the support of her collagues in the Executive (ie this is way beyond her budget and she cannot afford them now that she has to pay for PSNI officers forced out of their homes)

    If ever you wanted a demonstration of why this form of Government doesnt work this was it. No arching vision. No corporacy. Just gimmie gimme gimme for my area.

    PS just why would we build 543 new houses when there are countless hundreds lying vacant in the private sector that could be rented out or bought up by the HE at bargain rates?

  • igor

    Maggie

    Only if we squeeze really hard and drain it out of your arm. Are you up for it?

  • Big Maggie

    igor,

    The vaccine won’t be getting within a parsec of my arm. It hasn’t been approved by any respectable medical body.

    Follow the money trail and see who’s raking in the billions from this ghastly scam. I can’t believe how gullible seemingly rational people can be.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Pete

    “Specific vaccine, Tamiflu”

    Tamiflu is the vaccine?