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PUBH632 : Public Health Law and Policy Assignment Help

Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the law and policy making processes, especially the contribution of public health practitioners and other key Factors.

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Feasible Strategies for Preventing the Further Declination of Immunization Rates in Australia

Purpose

The purpose of this note is to draw attention to the declining rates of immunisation in Australia. Immunisation can be counted as one of the most vital procedures for enduring better health-related public policies.

 As per the views of Mahimbo, Seale & Heywood (2017), the overall process of immunisation mitigates the risk of accident public health epidemic. The country of Australia has stated a high record of immunisation in the year 2018 with almost 94.62% in September 2018 among children under five (racgp.org.au, 2019). 

However, the grave issue of adult immunization process, including the youth as well as older people also needs attention. The following briefing note will also explain the major utility of immunisation in preventing the overall public health issues and diseases.

Background

The process of immunisation is required for the better assessment and maintenance of the public health frameworks. The aspects related to the immunisation among children are well addressed in the country of Australia. 

Recent years have seen a tumultuous trend in terms of the children vaccination process. As pointed out by the Australia Institute of Health and Welfare (2019), the overall rate of child immunisation fell in 2015 to 89% and rose again to 91% in 2016 (aihw.gov.au, 2019). The rates then declined again in the year 2017 with a total of 90% of children involved in vaccination.

Though the immunisation coverage program already presents in the country of Australia includes major diseases such as Whooping cough, Diphtheria among others for the process of disease protection. Human Papillomavirus is also considered to be one of the diseases in the immunisation cover. As reported by the Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, the coverage rate among 15-year-old females was 79% in 2016. The rates for the same in males were 73% in 2016 (aihw.gov.au, 2019).

Changing lifestyle is also affecting the incident rate of non-communicable diseases. Apart from these cases related to pneumococcal and influenza variety also requires effective inclusion of the vaccination program. In cases of Australia, the coverage of diseases among older people inhabiting in the remote areas is quite low. Adults aged 65 years and above are vaccinated against the above-mentioned diseases in the remote areas of Australia in 2009 with a lower rate of 51% (aihw.gov.au, 2019)

The county of Australia has efficient measures that directly address the issues related to vaccination in the country. The application of the policy of No Jab No Pay is one such as aspect. The No Jab No Pay deals with financial curtailing of the employees in cases of negligent attitude towards the process of child immunisation. However, socio-economic discrepancies associated with policies as mentioned above are creating a ruckus in the immunisation process by the government.

Issues

The process of immunisation among all the various public health ranges irrespective of the socio-economic divide has raised questions on the overall implementation of the various health policies. There are many issues regarding the overall purpose of immunization as the central role in children's health care regime only (smh.com.au, 2019). Based on this context, the overall issues surrounding the immunisation process in Australia can be summarized as follows

Lack of facilities for better immunisation drive of the  older people and youth

As mentioned above, the overall input of the Australia government is more towards the benefit of the children in terms of immunisation drive. Important issues of immunisation related to younger adults and older age people are not considered well. As per the view of Gibney et al. (2017), the overall conclusion of proper balance is required in addressing the issues related to public health care regime.

Lack of immunisation drive in remote areas

Many areas in the Australian context are lacking proper immunization drive due to the remoteness of the areas. As pointed out by the nt.gov.au (2019), the overall inclusion of many diseases that are required to protect the remote area citizen of the country is not performed well. Apart from this, as pointed out in the studies of Kpozehouen et al. (2017), the overall process of maintaining public health care regime also includes taking care of the vaccination standard of the migrants as well as refugees. As mentioned in the study, Australia is a nation with almost 28.1% (6.6 million people) of migrants. Hence, overlooking the aspect can act as a detrimental factor for the overall public health care regime.

Discrepancies in the applied health care program for immunisation

The most prominent facility provided by the Australia government is the inclusion of the National Immunisation Program (NIP) (ncirs.org.au, 2019). The NIP includes the prices of non-Jab No Pay as the most common process of immunisation enforcement. However, as pointed out in the studies of Fielding, Bolam & Danchin (2017), the overall process of No Jab No Pay is creating a socio-economic disparity among the population as it is the lower end of the population that is suffering the most due to financial curtailing process.

Policy Options

Centrally organised focussed group immunisation awareness drive

Cost estimation: 26 AUD per dose/person 

Advantages

Will improve focus on the older and younger adult immunisation drive

Will help in balancing the overall immunisation rates in country mitigating possible risk factors of short term as well as long term public health care scare

Disadvantages

Can shift focus from child immunisation to adolescent immunization drive full-fledged

Infrastructure up-gradation scheme for better immunisation in the remote areas

Cost estimation: 328 million AUD

Advantages

Will improve the accessibility rate of the government in terms of providing free immunization shield to the population

Will also improve the entire immunisation rates

Disadvantages

Will require regular intervention causing an increase in the public healthcare budget of the government of Australia

Up-gradation of No Jab no pay scheme for better monitoring of the socio-economic disparity as well  as for increased accessibility to the other age groups 

Cost estimation: 250 million AUD

Advantages

Will act as a more inclusive approach in terms of the increasing balance among all age groups for better immunisation drive

Will also help in removing the socio-economic disparity created due to the earlier version of the scheme.

Cost-effective program for the government.

Disadvantages: 

No such disadvantages

Recommendations

From the above-discussed options, the inclusion of Upgradation of No Jab no pay scheme is the best. The overall influence of the scheme is already high in cases of increasing child immunization rates in Australia. The Inclusion of regimes for the younger adults as well as for the older people will improve the risk factor threat of any immediate public scare. The already flourished program of No Jab No Pay will require only a renovation aspect through the application of his scheme. This will also help in improving the cost-effectiveness factors for the Australian government. Apart from the same, the inclusion of the scheme in the NIP will improve the scope for maintaining a precise balance in child immunisation drive and adolescent immunisation drive.

For the application of the scheme, additional cost of AUD 175 million will be required on a central front whereas all the provinces need to invest AUD 75 million, equalling to AUD 250 million for the overall process. No changes in the legislative process are required for the application of this scheme indicating high feasibility of execution.

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