Cash for vaccinations? A select group of health professionals are being incentivised and the others are up in arms, says Penny Hosie.
Yesterday, NHS England announced that doctors will be paid up to £16.78 to identify and vaccinate each child aged between 10 and 16 who is unprotected against measles under the government's MMR catch-up programme.
In a deal struck between the GPC and NHS Employers, it was revealed that £1.50 will be paid for each child who is identified as at-risk and offered vaccination. A further £7.64 will be paid per MMR dose administered. GP practices must also warn parents of the risks of being unvaccinated.
While we applaud the government’s intention to get more children vaccinated, some community health professionals are voicing their indignation on Twitter.
Sharon White from the School and Public Health (SAPHNA) cut straight to the point, saying: “Assume same deal for School Nurses then??!!”.
A practicing school nurse responded, saying “… if I had a pound for every child I have identified as having imms. outstanding.”
Health visitors, practice nurses and school nurses accept that immunising children is part of their work and do not expect, or demand, extra payment. However in this current health crisis, if doctors are the only ones being incentivised in this way then it appears unjust. It is therefore fair that this deal is extended to all.
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