GPs 'disappointed' with lack of consultation for reviews that found problems with vaccination rollouts

Family doctors are questioning why they weren't more widely consulted for two reviews highlighting serious issues with recent vaccination programmes.

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GPs say the Ministry of Health needs to talk to them for improvements to be made. Source: 1 NEWS

GPs say it'll be difficult for the Ministry of Health to make any improvements without more input from those on the front line.

"The flu vaccine rollout has been a debacle," GP Dr Geoffrey Cunningham told 1 NEWS.

Two reports released yesterday highlighted major gaps in the health response during last year's measles outbreak, and this year's flu vaccination rollout. 

But the Royal NZ College of GPs, which represents thousands of New Zealand GPs, says it wasn't consulted for either.

"The college is very, very disappointed it wasn't consulted with the report," Dr Bryan Betty says.

"It was left out, the college that represents the 5500 GPs was not part of that report."

The reports show some GPs were consulted for the influenza review, but most of the groups interviewed represented other sectors.

In the measles report, only one consulting group was totally independent from the Government.

Yesterday Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said they had "nothing to hide".

"That's why we went and spoke to all the people who were relevant and were key stakeholders."

Cunningham has a different view.

"I think potentially GPs weren't consulted because our view might not have fitted the current political narrative," he says.

Betty says there are issues that come from not consulting the GPs.

"The ministry may miss important aspects of issues on the frontline and may not fully address issues frontline GPs had to put up with in vaccinating vulnerable populations this year and last year."

The Ministry of Health said in a statement many general practitioners have given the ministry direct feedback about this years' influenza programme. 

It says the company that conducted the report for the ministry did attempt to contact Betty.

That's disputed by Betty's team, who say he's easily contactable and they never heard from the reviewers.

Meanwhile Cunningham is calling for a fresh report.

"I think an independent report would absolutely get to the bottom of what's gone on."

It's hoped to ensure the next vaccine rollout isn't a stab in the dark.