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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Specialist immunisation service launched to protect Queensland’s sickest kids

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, June 29, 2016

    Specialist immunisation service launched to protect Queensland’s sickest kids

    Queensland children and young people with complex immunisation needs will have access to greater protection against life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases, following the launch today of a new specialist immunisation service.

    The Queensland Specialist Immunisation Service, which will be funded annually at a cost of $1.6 million by the Queensland Government, will target children who have complex health issues or are at risk of an adverse event following immunisation.

    The service, to be based at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, will also provide vital immunisation services to hospital patients and to people visiting the hospital.

    Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the Queensland Specialist Immunisation Service and the Immunisation Centre will fill an important gap in the Queensland Government’s existing immunisation service by immunising children who have not been vaccinated in the traditional community setting due to complex medical problems or access issues.

    “Immunisation is essential for children whose immunity has been comprised by a health condition, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy. This leaves them at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases and/or having complications from such a disease," he said.

    “The more children who get immunised, the better our chance of reaching 95 per cent immunisation which gives us herd immunity.”

    The latest data indicates that 93.3 per cent of Queensland children at one year have been immunised, 91.9 per cent at two years, and 92.7 per cent at five years.

    “This is encouraging, but we still have some way to go to get to 95 per cent,” Mr Dick said.

    “This service is an important step towards achieving and maintaining this goal, and will ensure Queensland’s most vulnerable children and young people, regardless of where they live, can access the protection they need against vaccine preventable diseases.”

    “Through telehealth and a dedicated telephone hotline, the Queensland Specialist Immunisation Service team of infectious disease specialists and immunisation nurses, will offer timely advice to any clinician treating a child with immunisation challenges.”

    The service also includes a new Immunisation Centre at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital offering routine vaccinations on the National Immunisation Program Schedule to patients, parents and siblings to create family immunity and to protect their sick child.

    Fionnagh Dougan, Chief Executive of Children’s Health Queensland, said the new integrated service was a vital step in ensuring safe, expert care for all Queensland children.

    “Outpatients and their families can drop in to the Immunisation Centre while they are at the hospital to check whether they are up to date with immunisation and to receive a vaccination when appropriate,” she said.

    “We will also be offering an inpatient service in collaboration with patient’s doctors.”

    Mr Dick said Lady Cilento Children's Hospital was performing well, and was expected to see 185,000 children in outpatients during 2015/16. He said the hospital’s Emergency Department has had about 28,000 presentations so far this calendar year, which is a 7 per cent increase over the 26,000 to the same time last year.

    He also said that one consequence of the extra funding of up to $70 million over four years announced last year had led to 31 more beds being opened and an additional 175 full-time equivalent nurses being recruited.

    He said that State Government had done its bit, increasing the budget allocation to Children’s Health Queensland – of which Lady Cilento is the flagship – in the most recent budget by $64.9 million to $677.2 million in 2016-17, an increase of 10.5 per cent.

    “It’s no secret that this hospital was opened too early by the LNP when they were in government, but the clinicians here have done an outstanding job, and the hospital is now functioning extremely well," he said.

    “LCCH has the potential to be one of the great hospitals of the world and this government will support it strongly.”


    MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Fraser (Minister’s office) 0428 690 679

                             Colleen Clur (Lady Cilento Children's Hospital) 0418 253 340