National has announced a plan for when they get the power of the purse: pay doctors up to $52m to persuade Kiwis to get vaccinated.
We need to be able to trust doctors
AUTHOR: JH via The BFD
The Immunisation Incentive Payments scheme would see GP clinics paid a lump sum for achieving immunisation targets, including full immunisation for two-year-olds, MMR vaccines for ages 1-17, and influenza vaccines for ages 65+.
They would have to either achieve 95 percent coverage for their childhood patients, and 75 percent for the flu shots, or achieve a five percentage point increase for each of those target groups, by 30 June 2024 to receive the payment.
The National party said it would set aside $52 million for the policy, which it said was the maximum cost if every GP clinic in the country achieved the targets.https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/election-2023/497705/national-announces-its-health-targets-and-an-immunisation-incentive-payment
Here’s the problem. Vaccination incentives and persuasions abounded during Covid, and Kiwis lost trust. It won’t be regained using the same tactics that lost it. Companies use ‘incentive payments’ to motivate their sales force. Persuade more people to buy the product and the bonus is yours, so get out there and sell, sell, sell. We need to be able to trust doctors more than we trust salespeople.
In recent times I have felt sorry for medical professionals. If they did not follow the approved narrative, they could be stood down; no second opinions allowed. The pitch was how dangerous the virus was and how the vaccine was safe and effective. Both were exaggerated and many of us knew it, but the proclamations came with all the certitude of a one-truth state.
Many truth seekers wrote off health professionals as trusted, independent sources of truth about Covid-19 and Covid-19 vaccines. Why pay to hear a doctor read from the government’s mandatory script when it was available on the government’s website for free and proclaimed from the ‘podium of truth’ ad nauseam? The question changed from do I trust my doctor to do I trust the system my doctor is part of? Doctors need to regain their independence.
Ardern and vaccine mandates are gone and Kiwis can surely give a nod to those who spoke up on parliament grounds, but people are still raw and resistance is high. Politicians should watch the movie and hear the people they would not deign to hear before. There are things to learn.
See the trailer for the River of Freedom movie, showing now in theatres around NZ
It appears that Luxon hasn’t learned much from Ardern’s political demise. He should note the time that her star began to fall. But no, he plans to incentivise the vaccine sales force. Nothing new here, and it’s not mandated, not yet, but Kiwis are more awake and less trusting. What will be the response of those wanting trustworthy information – ‘Sorry Doc, you’re paid to say that. I may have to look online.’ What a tragedy if even more people say buzz off to health professionals giving advice because they hear in their voices the buzz of the Beehive.
The doctor-patient relationship relies on trust and that trust has been damaged. Politicians of all stripes, hear it loud and hear it clear: You are politicians; we don’t trust you. Please keep your grubby persuasion money away from the sacred relationship between doctor and patient and let it heal.
Doctors, if you want trust to grow, here’s something doable: tell Luxon you won’t take the money.
Martin comments: The vaccine mandates may be gone, but they can return at any moment. And while we may be wiser and better prepared next time, so are they! The WHO is geared up to take stronger action on defeating your rights and freedoms. Always remain vigilant and always courageous!
As for National and Chris Luxon, I stated my opinion months ago in this open letter, which was also published at the BFD: