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  1. 1

    Doctor Whom

    A reasoned rational evidence based approach to the Pig Flu (or anything else for that matter) would be good but its hardly a political response.

    When you’ve got half the letters to the editor and opinion pieces from raving nanny staters who want the guvmint to “do something” and the other half ranting USA style libertarians who want “big government” to pull their head in and the other half a mix of new age hippies and fluoride opponents wanting investigations into how vaccinations kill people – its a big ask for authorities to be steady.

    Remember the “pandemic” piggy flu first popped up in Melbourne – the first significant numbers outside Mexico and the southern us border. And it was winter here. No one knew what potential it had – err on the side of caution.

    Its important to remember that this was on the side of Melbourne less than 30ks from where the bushfires had killed 100’s of people and destroyed whole towns.

    The commentariate were going bazonk blaming the Government for everything to do with the bushfires. QCs and lawyers were brushing off their electronic billing programs and rhetoric in readiness for the Royal Commission.

    A government that did anything less than pave all of Victoria with flame proof concrete and buried it underwater was going to be in big trouble.

    In the are where the H1N1 first appeared in numbers the GPs and nurses and hospital A&E workers and yes even bureaucrats all knew someone who had died or lost their homes in the fires.

    It was in this climate and a lack of any decent knowledge from anywhere else in the world about the true power of the H1N1 to do damage that the Australian Government, first the Victorians, and services acted.

    Considering everything – and especially the bushfires – it was an appropriate response – we would do it differently next time – but hindsight isn’t available a priori . Sadly.

    A true population public health approach would take the political and emotional environment at the time into account. Next time should, and will, be different.

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